On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Docket No. L-4900-07.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Lisa and Collester.
American Express Travel Related Service Co., Inc. (AMEX) appeals from the August 15, 2008 Law Division order granting summary judgment in favor of defendant Bernard L. Eskins. We reverse.
The sole issue in this case is whether Bernard Eskins was personally liable to AMEX on a business cash rebate card and retail installment credit agreement between the cardholder and AMEX. On September 24, 2007, AMEX filed suit to recover monies due for a book account on the revolving charge in the amount of $45,178.93 including interest and attorney's fees. An answer was filed by an attorney representing Eskins denying that he requested or was issued the credit card in question and therefore he had no liability to AMEX.
Following discovery, Eskins moved for summary judgment, certifying that he did not open an account with AMEX or agree to be personally liable on the business credit card. He further certified:
On its face, this is a business account that was provided to Future Rest Bedrooms. I am not personally liable for this account. The Court should clearly see by the title of the card that this card was issued to a business and was not issued to me personally.
In support of AMEX's summary judgment motion and in response to Eskins', E. Garabedian, records custodian for AMEX, certified that Eskins opened a business cash rebate card , and in the Credit Application/Retail Installment Sales Agreement that was sent to him, Eskins was liable as a basic card member for all purchases in the account. AMEX acknowledged that the original Credit Application/Retail Installment Sales Agreement was no longer available and attached what it termed was a true copy of the agreement which stated that:
The Company and the Basic Cardmember are responsible under this Agreement for all use of the Card Account by the Basic Cardmember and additional Cardmembers and by anyone else the Basic Cardmember or an additional Cardmember let use the card. . . .
Also attached to E. Garabedian's certification was a duplicate copy of a monthly bill for July 2006 in the names of "Bernard Eskins and Future Rst Bdrm" indicating a payment received on June 10, 2006 in the amount of $1,410.92 with a balance due of $30,502.84. An enclosed payment coupon was addressed to: