On Friday, May 4, UC Davis filed a complaint against U.S. Bank for its alleged breach of contract.
The suit claims the bank “assumes all responsibility for the protection of the Bank, its agents and invitees from acts of third parties… the Lease does not obligate the Regents to indemnify the Bank for the costs of providing security.”
There has been no news of U.S. Bank filing a countersuit.
The bank announced it was closing its doors on the UC Davis campus on March 1, subsequent to student protesters blockading the entryway and exit of the bank. The bank allegedly suffered significant losses due to the disruptions caused by the protests.
U.S. Bank collaborated with UC Davis in 2009, signing a ten-year contract that granted the university campus with a U.S. Bank branch. The program was set to bring forth a significant amount of revenue for the University; in 2011 alone, $167,000 in funding for student programs was generated through the proposal.
In the contract between U.S. Bank and UC Davis, it states payments must be made in the event of an early termination (13.7).
“Upon termination of this Lease … an equitable adjustment shall be made concerning advance payments under the Financial Services Partnership Agreement and any advance payments made by the Bank to University. University shall, in addition, return to Bank so much of Bank’s security deposit as has not therefore been applied to the University,” stated the contract.
In concurrence with the Occupy movement, student protesters sat in front of the bank in January and February, ultimately leading the bank either to close its doors early, or not open at all over the course of approximately seven weeks. Eleven students and one faculty member are facing charges following the protests. All twelve pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on May 10.
“Students and non-students forcefully blocked the only entrance and exit of the bank. These same protesters put their hands on bank customers and assaulted them, pushed them away, grabbed at their arms and hands,” said senior women’s studies major and former U.S. Bank employee Hassan Shabbir.
“I never expected the campus police to remain idle while these ‘protesters’ assaulted my co-worker, ripping bank documents out of his pockets and his hands as he tried to enter the office.”
Under the Information on Rights and Responsibilities Concerning Peaceful Protest at UC Davis, protesters allegedly violated the Relevant UC Davis Time, Place, and Manner Requirements, disobeying the clause stating “Does not interfere with property entrances and or exits,” in addition to a disregard for several other requirements, including the “Disruption or Interference with University Operations.”
“The last thing in the world you want to see is 11 students and a faculty
member facing charges — even misdemeanors that reportedly could be
resolved through community service and no jail time,” said UC Davis spokesperson Barry Shiller.
“It’s vital to remember that the charges were filed only after campus police received multiple complaints from students and others alleging that they had been prevented from entering or leaving the campus U.S. Bank branch. And the blockades continued despite 12 attempts — six in writing — by campus staff to educate protesters about the risks of continuing their actions,” Shiller said.
“It’s an inconvenience because it’s the only bank which is on-campus; it was the only reason I chose U.S. Bank. However, I’m glad there’s a U.S. Bank ATM because getting charged two dollars in tax is unnecessary,” said international student and first year psychology major Anum Idris.
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