Suit seeks damages in case of missing contents of safety-deposit box

FORT COLLINS — A Fort Collins resident has sued Wells Fargo Bank NA for damages after contents of a safety-deposit box were discovered to be missing.

Lauchland A. Roberts filed the suit Feb. 3 in Larimer County District Court alleging that the bank through negligence failed to safeguard and return a coin collection that he had stored in the box.

Emily Birks, a service manager at the 401 S. College Ave. location for Wells Fargo, told BizWest that the bank would not comment on the allegations raised in the suit.

The story as outlined in the court filing is complicated by bank mergers, branch closures and mail delivered to an incorrect address.

Roberts alleges through his attorney, Craig Stirn of Fort Collins, that he maintained both personal and business accounts at NorWest Bank, which Wells Fargo acquired. He continued those banking relationships with Wells Fargo after the merger, according to the suit.

Wells Fargo closed the branch at 3500 John F. Kennedy Parkway where Roberts usually banked in 2015. He was assured that his safety-deposit box would be moved to another Fort Collins location, the suit alleges.

But when Roberts went to the bank Feb. 7, 2020, to enter his box, the bank could not find a reference to him in the system for bank boxes.

The bank did locate a letter sent in August 2017 indicating that rental payment was due, and when it wasn’t paid, the box contents were moved to North Carolina. The rent-due letter was mailed to a Houston address that Roberts claims was never given to the bank. The Houston address “may have been Plaintiff’s daughter’s address,” the suit said, but was not an address that Roberts used.

Roberts paid the overdue rent in order to retrieve the box contents but discovered that a coin collection valued at about $35,000 stored among other items was not included, according to the suit.

The suit seeks damages, attorney fees and court costs.

FORT COLLINS — A Fort Collins resident has sued Wells Fargo Bank NA for damages after contents of a safety-deposit box were discovered to be missing.

Lauchland A. Roberts filed the suit Feb. 3 in Larimer County District Court alleging that the bank through negligence failed to safeguard and return a coin collection that he had stored in the box.

Emily Birks, a service manager at the 401 S. College Ave. location for Wells Fargo, told BizWest that the bank would not comment on the allegations raised in the suit.

The story as outlined in the court filing is complicated by bank mergers, branch closures and mail delivered to an incorrect address.

Roberts alleges through his attorney, Craig Stirn of Fort Collins, that he maintained both personal and business accounts at NorWest Bank, which Wells Fargo acquired. He continued those banking relationships with Wells Fargo after the merger, according to the suit.

Wells Fargo closed the branch at 3500 John F. Kennedy Parkway where Roberts usually banked in 2015. He was assured that his safety-deposit box would be moved to another Fort Collins location, the suit alleges.

But when Roberts went to the bank Feb. 7, 2020, to enter his box, the bank could not find a reference to him in the system for bank boxes.

The bank did locate a letter sent in August 2017 indicating that rental payment was due, and when it wasn’t paid, the box contents were moved to North Carolina. The rent-due letter was mailed to a Houston address that Roberts claims…