BAM Key Details:

  • Home sellers Gael Fierro and Patrick Thurber filed an antitrust lawsuit in California against 36 defendants, including the National Association of Realtors on January 17.
  • The lawsuit accuses the defendants of enforcing anticompetitive restraints that compel home sellers to provide inflated fees to brokers, violating federal and state antitrust regulations.

The latest commission lawsuit names 36 defendants in California, alleging a conspiracy among the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and affiliated associations and brokerages in California that violates federal and state antitrust laws. 

This is the second antitrust lawsuit to be filed in California, with the first targeting the Bay Area. 

Read on for the details.

Details of the Fierro Lawsuit in California

On January 17, 2024, home sellers Gael Fierro and Patrick Thurber filed a complaint in U.S. District Court Central District of California against 36 defendants, accusing them of collaborating in anti-competitive practices. 

The complaint states, “This conspiracy centers around the enforcement of an anticompetitive restraint that compels home sellers to provide an inflated fee to the broker representing the buyer of their properties, thus violating federal and state antitrust regulations.”

And while the lawsuit names three dozen defendants, it put the majority of the blame on NAR: “NAR, an organization with considerable influence in shaping the real estate landscape, is at the core of the conspiracy.”

The suit seeks class-action status for anyone who listed properties on an MLS in the Madera, Fresno, and Los Angeles Counties using a listing agent or broker affiliated with one of the defendants named from January 17, 2020, through the present. 

36 Defendants Named

The complete list of defendants named in the Fierro case include:

  1. National Association of Realtors
  2. The Agency Real Estate Franchising, LLC
  3. Compass, Inc.
  4. eXp World Holdings, Inc.
  5. eXp Realty of California, Inc.
  6. eXp Realty of Southern California, Inc.
  7. eXp Realty of Greater Los Angeles, Inc.
  8. eXp Realty of Northern California, Inc.
  9. Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.
  10. BHH Affiliates, LLC
  11. First Team Real Estate – Orange County
  12. Rodeo Realty, Inc.
  13. Pinnacle Estate Properties, Inc.
  14. California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc.
  15. Combined L.A./Westside MLS, Inc.
  16. California Association of Realtors, Inc.
  17. Greater Los Angeles Realtors, Inc.
  18. Arcadia Association of Realtors, Incorporated
  19. Burbank Association of Realtors
  20. Citrus Valley Association of Realtors, Inc.
  21. Glendale Association of Realtors
  22. Inglewood Board of Realtors, Inc.
  23. Montebello District Association of Realtors, Inc.
  24. Palos Verdes Peninsula Association of Realtors
  25. Pasadena-Foothills Association of Realtors
  26. Rancho Southeast Realtors
  27. South Bay Association of Realtors, Inc.
  28. Southland Regional Association of Realtors, Inc.
  29. Tri-Counties Association of Realtors
  30. West San Gabriel Valley Realtors
  31. Malibu Association of Realtors, Inc.
  32. Madera Association of Realtors
  33. Fresno Board of Realtors, Incorporated
  34. Merced County Association of Realtors, Inc.
  35. Mariposa County Board of Realtors, Inc.
  36. Southwest Los Angeles Association of Realtors

Stay up to date on real estate commission legal battles with BAM’s Industry Lawsuit Watch.