Douglas Elliman Dismissed Without Prejudice in Buyer Commission Suit

Douglas Elliman is the latest big brokerage, joining Howard Hanna and HomeServices of America, in being voluntarily dismissed without prejudice from the Illinois-based Batton homebuyer commission lawsuits.

Homebuyers claimed to have suffered antitrust injury due to a conspiracy between the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and big brokerages.

In Tuesday’s notice of voluntary dismissal, plaintiffs stated that “(s)uch dismissal is proper because Douglas Elliman Inc. has not yet served either an answer or a motion for summary judgment.”

This comes after Douglas Elliman followed Anywhere, eXp, Keller Williams and RE/MAX to file a motion to dismiss due to lack of jurisdiction, and also a joint motion to dismiss for failure, claiming that plaintiffs failed to state a claim. Douglas Elliman also issued a motions strike, following suit with the remaining defendants.

Douglas Elliman also recently settled homeseller commission suits, and will pay $17.75 million (though much of that is contingent on the company’s future cash balance) over the next two years and receive immunity from lawsuits filed by recent homesellers. 

A spokesperson for Douglas Elliman declined to comment.

The two Batton suits were filed by the same homebuyer plaintiffs. Notably, HomeServices was recently added to a new buyer suit refiled by Batton lawyers in a new federal district court, skirting the jurisdictional technicality that HomeServices had used to shrug off the original litigation.

Because Douglas Elliman was dismissed without prejudice, plaintiffs in the case are free to refile their lawsuit. A lawyer representing the Batton plaintiffs did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

Batton was initially filed in January 2021 by Judah Leeder, and later amended in July 2022, when Mya Batton became the lead plaintiff. In November 2023, a mostly identical lawsuit was filed by the same homebuyer plaintiffs, adding Douglas Elliman along with a number of other big brokerage firms as defendants.

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