Sunday, March 6, 2011

Harold Huggins Realty, et al vs. FNC, Inc. - Going to trial


"In Harold H. Huggins Realty, Inc., P.E. Turner & Company, LTD., Residential Appraisal and Consulting, Inc. and Alfonoso V. Torres doing business as Front Door Appraisals vs. FNC, Inc., a trio of appraisers filed a federal class action lawsuit against the technology firm seeking damages for negligent misrepresentation, misappropriation, breach of implied contract and other charges."

"As with any complex litigation, particularly a class action suit, the clock and calendar have gone around several times while parties make and argue motions, and the defendant seeks to have the action dismissed. The latest action was the plaintiff's appeal of the district court's order granting the defendant's (FNC, Inc.) motion to dismiss the case under Federal rule of Civil Procedure 12 (b)(6). (NOTE: I will not even pretend to know what that means.)"

"February 24, the Court of Appeals rendered their decision in favor of the plaintiffs. The Appeals Court reversed the decision to dismiss and remanded the case back for further proceedings."

Source: Frank Gregoire blog, "Appraiser Active"

Click here to read the full info

As a reminder, this is the complaint against FNC, Inc. and their AppraisalPort "service."

A lower court ruled against the litigants, but the 5th Circuit reversed that decision on Feb. 24, 2011. The appraisers are now allowed to continue their legal action. The defendants can appeal to the US Supreme Court, but there is no guarantee that the appeal would be heard. The Conclusion of the Court Decision contains this information:

“The plaintiffs [the appraisers] in this case have prudential standing primarily because of the zero-sum competitive relationship that exists between them and FNC in the field of real-estate-valuation services.

Lenders who use the National Collateral Database would otherwise use the plaintiffs’ appraisal services, FNC was able to create the National Collateral Database only because it stole the plaintiffs’ work product, and FNC’s taking of the plaintiffs’ work product was made possible by the false advertisements FNC ran touting the confidentiality of AppraisalPort.

But for the false advertisements FNC targeted at the plaintiffs, the National Collateral Database would not have been able to compete effectively with the plaintiffs’ appraisals.”


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