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Singh v. Wells Fargo, N.A.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

November 3, 2017

RAJINDER SINGH, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLS FARGO, N.A., and DTE ENERGY COMPANY Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS (ECF ## 27, 28)

          MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         In this action, Plaintiff Rajinder Singh alleges that Defendants Wells Fargo, N.A. and DTE Energy Company breached certain contractual duties that they owed to him. (See First Am. Compl., ECF #26.) Singh claims that as a result of the alleged breaches, DTE stock that he owned escheated to the State of Michigan.[1] Defendants have now moved to dismiss Singh's claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (See ECF ## 27, 28.) For the reasons that follow, the motions are GRANTED.

         I[2]

         In or around May 1976, Singh purchased 100 shares of DTE common stock. (See First Am. Compl. at ¶8, ECF #26 at Pg. ID 402.) Singh “thereafter contracted with DTE on a dividend reinvestment plan” related to his DTE stock (the “Plan”). (Id. at ¶10, Pg. ID 402.)

         In 2010, Wells Fargo became the Plan Administrator under the Plan pursuant to a “Transfer Agent Services Agreement” with DTE (the “Services Agreement”). (Id. at ¶¶ 13-14, Pg. ID 403.) On July 30, 2010, DTE sent correspondence to its shareholders informing them about Wells Fargo's new role (the “July 2010 Notice”). (See Id. at ¶17, ECF #26 at Pg. ID 403-04.) The July 2010 Notice told shareholders that their account information would be “securely transferr[ed]” to Wells Fargo and that their dividend reinvestments would continue without any action required on their part:

Effective August 2, 2010, all of your account information will securely transfer to Wells Fargo Shareowner Services. If your dividends are deposited directly to your bank account or if you receive dividend checks, your current method of delivery will continue. If your dividends are reinvested, your Plan participation will continue without interruption. No action is required on your part.

(Id. at Pg. ID 404, quoting the July 2010 Notice.)

         It turns out that “DTE failed to properly provide Wells Fargo with [Singh's] contact and other information.” (Id. at ¶19, Pg. ID 404.) As a result of that failure, “Wells Fargo closed [Singh's] DTE reinvestment plan account and the [DTE stock in that account] escheated to the State of Michigan.” (Id. at ¶20, Pg. ID 404.)

         Neither Wells Fargo nor DTE contacted Singh when his account was closed and/or when his stock escheated to the State. (See Id. at ¶¶ 29-30, Pg. ID 405.) In fact, Singh did not learn about the escheatment until he received correspondence from Wells Fargo in March 2013. (See Id. at ¶¶ 18, 21. Pg. ID 404.)

         According to Singh, the actions of DTE and Wells Fargo damaged him because “[t]he market value of the DTE shares rose significantly after Wells Fargo caused [his] DTE Stock to escheat to the State of Michigan.” (Id. at ¶31, Pg. ID 405.)

         II A

         Singh filed this action on February 27, 2017. (See Compl, ECF #1.) In his initial pleading, he brought the following claims:

• Negligence against DTE and Wells Fargo. (See Id. at ¶¶ 27-37, ECF #1 at Pg. ID 4-5.)
• Breach of Fiduciary Duty against DTE and Wells Fargo. (See Id. At ¶¶ 38-46, Pg. ...

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