Ferry v. Ramsey
277 U.S. 88 (1928)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ferry v. Ramsey, 277 U.S. 88 (1928)

Ferry v. Ramsey

Nos. 407 to 418, inclusive

Argued April 25, 1928

Decided May 14, 1928

277 U.S. 88



1. A state statute making a bank director individually liable for deposits, the receipt of which by the bank was assented to by him with knowledge that it was insolvent, and which provides that his failure to examine the bank's affairs to learn of its condition shall charge him with knowledge of its insolvency, and that, in suits against him for such deposits, the fact of insolvency when the deposits were received shall be prima facie evidence that the director both knew of the insolvency and assented to the deposits, held consistent with due process of law. P. 277 U. S. 94.

2. The statute might have made directors liable to depositors in every case. By accepting the office, they assume the risks it imposes. Id.

122 Kans. 675, 691, affirmed.

Error to judgments of the Supreme Court of Kansas affirming recoveries against a director, and the executor of a deceased director, of a bank in twelve suits by depositors.

Page 277 U. S. 93

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

These writs of error are brought by Ferry, formerly a director of the Butler County State Bank, of Kansas, and by the executor of a deceased director, to set aside judgments against them in suits by depositors in the bank on the ground that the statutes of Kansas purporting to establish the directors' liability were contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The statutes were upheld by the state court. Ramsey v. Adams, 122 Kan. 675; ibid. 691.

The plaintiffs (the defendants in error) made deposits in the bank at a time when it was insolvent but had not closed its doors. The statutes under which the directors were held liable to depositors and which are attacked here are Revised Statutes of Kansas, 1923, Chapter 9,

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