ORANGE COUNTY, Fla., Feb. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On Thursday, February 2, 2023, nationally renowned personal injury attorneys Bob Hilliard, Hon. John B. Martinez, and Jakub Banaszak of Corpus Christi, TX-based firm Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP (HMG), and nationally known civil rights lawyer, Ben Crump of Tallahassee, FL, held a press conference announcing a lawsuit filed on behalf of Mrs. Linda Stephens (age 70) against MidFlorida Credit Union for violations of the Florida Civil Rights Act, Negligence, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Conversion and Fraud.
According to the complaint, on April 13, 2021, Mrs. Stephens deposited $600 cash into a MidFlorida bank ATM. After multiple follow-up visits over the course of the following 30 hours, Mrs. Stephens’ deposit was never posted to her account. Following repeated requests for the bank to grant her access to her money, which she needed to pay her mortgage, the branch manager called the police. Rather than assisting her with the transaction, the bank escalated the situation. Armed officers arrived, at which point Mrs. Stephens feared for her life. A few moments later, she was arrested. She was held, naked, in a cell for over 24 hours, subsequently suffering a broken nose due to rough treatment, along with being humiliated, dehumanized, and emotionally and physically exhausted.
In the days following her release from jail, she was visited by a MidFlorida Credit Union employee who told her that if “they (MidFlorida) had followed through and cleared her funds the day before as they had promised”, she would have never had to undergo such trauma. MidFlorida then offered her a $300 voucher for her mortgage payment.
“The blatantly discriminatory and negligent practices of MidFlorida Credit Union and their employees denied Mrs. Stephens a fair and race-neutral banking transaction. She was treated with flagrant indifference and having the police called on her is nothing short of outrageous,” Said Attorney John B. Martinez, “In this Country, these types of things shouldn’t happen. But they happen every day. These are the things that we want to make sure don’t happen. The only way we can make sure things like this don’t happen, is we must hold the people accountable that do these things. And that’s what we are going to do for Mrs. Stephens. We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re going to keep fighting, so maybe this kind of thing won’t happen.” Martinez concluded during the press conference.
Bob Hilliard has a forty-year history of fighting for social justice, Hilliard and Crump previously took on systemic racism in the banking industry, winning a large settlement against a financial institution that imposed unreasonable standards on its Black customers. The sizable settlements represent victories against the widespread, racist phenomenon known as “Banking While Black.” The settlements provided funds to the victims of discrimination in the banking industry.
In this most recent case, the attorneys from HMG and Crump once again seek to hold the responsible parties accountable for the outrageous and unfair treatment of Mrs. Stephens.
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ABOUT HILLIARD MARTINEZ GONZALES
Bob Hilliard has led HMG to the forefront of national trial law firms. Having tried over 100 jury trials, Mr. Hilliard is also a two-time winner of the National Law Journal’s prestigious Elite Trial Lawyer of the Year award, as well as being recognized as a Super Lawyer for the past 18 years. Mr. Hilliard is double board certified and recognized as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the United States. In the past six months, HMG’s 40-lawyer firm has already secured over 100 million dollars in verdicts and settlements. For more information, visit https://hmglawfirm.com/.
ABOUT BEN CRUMP LAW
Through his work, nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more information, visit bencrump.com.
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SOURCE Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP