Howard Hanna Voluntarily Dismissed Without Prejudice in Batton Case

There’s one less defendant in an Illinois-based commission suit known as Batton, filed this past November by homebuyers claiming to have suffered antitrust injury due to a conspiracy between the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and big brokerages.

The seven plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims against Howard Hanna without prejudice which, in short, indicates that such claims could be refiled moving forward. 

The notice in court documents stated that the plaintiffs “hereby voluntarily dismiss, without prejudice, all claims against Defendant Howard Hanna Real Estate Services,” and “Such dismissal is proper because Howard Hanna Real Estate Services has not yet served either an answer or a motion for summary judgment.”

Batton has proved to be unique compared to the various other class action suits, as Mya Batton, the lead defendant, and other plaintiffs are homebuyers, while most notable class action suits are predominantly brought by sellers.

Batton was originally known as Leeder, with a judge initially dismissing the lawsuit on technical grounds. It was later refiled, and recently consolidated with a copycat case that had been initiated directly after a jury ruled in favor of NAR inflating commissions in the Burnett case in Missouri, which was ruled too, by Judge Andrea Wood. 

The plaintiffs are seeking class action status, which may mean that this suit can represent real estate homebuyers nationwide.

Aside from Howard Hanna, the remaining defendants in Batton include Compass, eXp World Holdings, Redfin, Weichert Realtors, United Real Estate and Douglas Elliman.

Howard Hanna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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