Litigation Update: Motion to Dismiss Batton I Case (2/21/24)

Update regarding a buyer class action case pending in Illinois (Batton v. The National Association of Realtors et al. or “Batton I”):

The plaintiffs in Batton I (originally known as Leeder) filed this case in 2021, alleging that NAR and other defendants inflated costs for home buyers as a result of the cooperative compensation policy. The case was dismissed in 2022 but was subsequently refiled, and our motion to dismiss the amended complaint has been pending for over a year.

While NAR succeeded in dismissing these buyer plaintiffs’ claims for damages under federal antitrust law, we are disappointed that the plaintiffs’ case is being allowed to proceed past this preliminary stage, where plaintiffs’ allegations must be taken as true. To be clear, the court did not make any findings on the merits of the case. The decision simply means that what’s left of the plaintiffs’ case will move to the discovery phase. I want to also note that the court dismissed HomeServices of America and related companies as defendants in this matter for lack of personal jurisdiction over those entities.

We are committed to defending practices that benefit consumers and advance homeownership, and will continue to keep you updated as the litigation landscape develops. As a reminder, Batton I is among all the class action cases we have asked the Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to centralize in the Northern District of Illinois, and we expect a decision on centralization sometime after oral argument, which is scheduled for March.

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