Knutson + Casey Files Lawsuit against Wells Fargo on Behalf of Minnesota Family
Minneapolis personal injury attorney Randall G. Knutson of Knutson + Casey law firm represented a Minnesota family enrolled in victim protection and nearly outed by Wells Fargo, their mortgage lender.
The Minnesota family had recently relocated to a city outside of Minneapolis in November 2016 as part of a victim protection program, Safe at Home, after the young rape victim and her mother received death threats from the perpetrator.
The family moved to a new location and purchased a secret home in Mankato, and utilized Wells Fargo as their mortgage lender. Only days after moving in the family’s cover was nearly exposed when mail arrived to the home from Wells Fargo, including the mother’s real name and information; violating the rules of the Safe at Home program.
In addition to the mail from Wells Fargo, the lender had also failed to protect the family from what’s typically referred to as “Trigger Spam,” in which the lender sells a person’s information to outside vendors. Attorney Randy Knutson explains how this is particularly worrisome in these types of cases because this information can often be found online.
“Once vendors have a person’s private information, it is not long until that information is found online, on ‘people search’ websites. In our case, the clients saw their secret address on such a site, leading them to worry that the perpetrator would find them.”
A copy of the complaint is available below.
In 2018, a settlement was reached between Wells Fargo and the victim’s family. While the details of the settlement remain confidential, Mr. Knutson has stated that the settlement was “fair and reasonable for both parties”.
“The settlement allows our clients to move forward and be safe in their new location”, said plaintiff’s attorney Randy Knutson. Knutson added that “the settlement helps ensure that the same thing will not happen to others in the future, in Safe at Home witness protection programs. Our clients were particularly pleased about this result”.
Knutson says that Safe at Home programs now exist in more than 36 states. The programs are critical in protecting victims and witnesses while they await testifying against the perpetrators. “Without these programs, many criminals would be able to escape prosecution through intimidation or violence”