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Italy: No Compensation for Theft from Bank Vaults

(Oct. 3, 2011) It was reported on September 26, 2011, that the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation rejected an appeal brought by a family against a decision of the Court of Appeals that had refused to award them monetary damages after the contents of their safety-deposit box were stolen from the vault of their bank, Banco di Roma (now Unicredit Bank). Thieves had been able to overcome a series of seemingly efficient security measures to reach the vault: armored doors with an alarm hooked up to alert the police if the doors or locks were tampered with; three combination locks that needed to be unlocked in order to enter the vault; security cameras; and 24-hour security guards. (Niente risarcimento dalla banca se iladri sono troppo bravi, LA REPUBBLICA (Sept. 24, 2011).)

The Court held that because the bank used all the security measures available at the time of the theft, the family was not entitled to monetary damages. In addition, it ordered the family to pay the procedural fees for the lawsuit. (Id.)

Prepared by Laura Andriulli, intern at the Law Library of Congress, under the guidance of Nicole Atwill, Senior Foreign Law Specialist. Ms. Andriulli graduated with honors from the University of Florence and the Sorbonne University (Paris 1), where she earned a Double Degree in Italian and French Law. She recently earned her LL.M. degree from Penn State University's Dickinson School of Law.