A gavel against a backdrop of a house.
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News; Shutterstock

New efforts to derail brokerage settlements, dismiss buy-side case 

Another group of plaintiffs has filed an appeal in the RE/MAX, KW and Anywhere settlements, while the brokerages offered new arguments for dismissing Batton.

July 1, 2024
2 minutes

New developments in two of the commissions cases could have major implications for the settlement agreements and homebuyer class action lawsuits.

Another appeal: Several of the plaintiffs in a South Carolina copycat lawsuit have appealed the combined $208.5 million settlement reached by Anywhere, Keller Williams and RE/MAX in the sell-side commissions lawsuits.

On July 1, Benny Cheatham, Robert Douglass, Douglas Fender and Dena Fender appealed the final approval to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Each are plaintiffs in what's known as the Burton case, which was filed in November and is similar to the Sitzer/Burnett case but targeted only NAR and Keller Williams.

This group joins a company called Spring Way and a group of defendants from the Batton case in appealing the settlement that was approved by Judge Stephen Bough on May 9. The July filing didn't state a reason for the appeal; details are generally filed later.

More arguments to dismiss Batton: Even as the three brokerages are facing pushback to their settlement, they are also fighting to get a buy-side case thrown out. 

Anywhere, KW and RE/MAX submitted a filing on July 1 arguing for the dismissal of the Batton 1 case. The brokerages in a related case, Batton 2, have asked for the dismissal of that case as well.  

Batton 1, filed three years ago in U.S. District Court in Illinois by homebuyers, is currently going through a motions phase, including a previous motion to dismiss the case in April. In the most recent filing, the three defendants said the plaintiffs have failed to make any connection between their claims and the remaining defendants in terms of personal jurisdiction in Illinois, just like they didn't against HomeServices of America, which was dismissed from the case in February.

According to the defendants, the only allegation connecting their claims to Illinois is a general nationwide conspiracy to fix real estate commission prices, something that was rejected by Judge Andrea Wood when dismissing HomeServices.

While the three brokerage defendants reached a settlement with home sellers, this case continues on because it was filed by homebuyers.

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