BAM Key Details: 

  • Judge Andrea Wood has dismissed HomeServices of America from the Batton 1 lawsuit filed by U.S. homebuyers. The case will move forward against the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Anywhere, RE/MAX, and Keller Williams with fewer claims.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet (publicly) made a decision on the HomeServices petition to review Sitzer/Burnett particularly in regards to a signed arbitration agreement. 

HomeServices of America, along with three of its subsidiaries, has been dismissed from the “Batton 1” lawsuit by U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood, who aside from this Illinois case is also presiding over the Moehrl lawsuit. 

Unlike most of the commission lawsuits filed, Batton 1 was filed by U.S. homebuyers. And following the removal of claims against HomeServices, the case will proceed against the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), Anywhere, RE/MAX, and Keller Williams. 

What did Judge Andrea Wood say? 

On February 20, 2024, Judge Andrea Wood filed court documents dismissing claims against HomeServices of America and three of its subsidiaries—BHH Affiliates, HSF Affiliates and the Long & Foster Companies—seeking injunctive relief and damages for violations of federal antitrust law and two state consumer protection laws. 

In her ruling, Judge Wood said the plaintiffs “failed to satisfy their burden of demonstrating this court’s personal jurisdiction” over HomeServices in connection with their allegations in Illinois. 

That said, the judge did allow the case to move forward with state antitrust claims as well as challenges to laws asserting “unjust enrichment claims” in states where Batton 1 plaintiffs had purchased homes: 

  • Florida 
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada 
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina

Judge Wood also agreed the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit could “assert claims under the laws of states other than those states in which plaintiffs reside or purchased a home.” 

Batton 1 case details

Homebuyer Judah Leeder originally filed “Batton 1” (formerly known as the Leeder case) in January 2021. His complaint was similar to those of other buyer agent commission cases filed before and after the Sitzer/Burnett trial. But unlike the majority of those cases, Batton 1 represents a class of homebuyers rather than sellers. 

The petition was amended in July 2022 with Mya Batton taking over as the plaintiff class representative.

The original list of Batton 1 defendants: 

  • NAR
  • Keller Williams
  • HomeServices of America
  • RE/MAX
  • Anywhere Real Estate

Since then, Anywhere, RE/MAX, and (recently) Keller Williams have agreed to settlements in commission cases filed by sellers, including Sitzer/Burnett and Moehrl. 

Stay tuned for more developments in the Batton 1 case. And bookmark the BAM Lawsuit Watch post to stay updated on all commission lawsuits. 

Regarding HomeServices of America in particular, we’ll report back as we learn more about any response from the U.S. Supreme Court to the former’s petition to review Sitzer/Burnett.