07.01.2009 Title Insurers Secure Two Big Wins in Defense of Price Fixing Claims
Last year, the title insurance industry was hit with a flurry of class action lawsuits accusing them of conspiring to raise rates for title insurance. The initial action, Dolan v. Fidelity National Title Insurance, was filed in the Eastern District of New York, and alleged that the largest title insurers in the state had conspired to obtain approval from the State Insurance Department (“Department”) for title insurance rates that were excessive. Subsequently, cases were filed in other states making the same type of claim — that state regulators had been misled by the title insurers about their true costs when approving the title insurers’ rates. Later, cases were also brought in states in which the title insurers’ rates were not subject to regulatory approval, with the plaintiffs contending that the title insurers had agreed on rates for those other states when participating in rate setting activities authorized in those states in which their rates had to be approved. However, two recent favorable rulings for the defendants, one in New York and another in California, may spell the end for this industry-shaking litigation.

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