Archives: Title Insurance

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Title Insurance Class Action Decertified Based On Wal-Mart v. Dukes

Title insurers have been hit with a wave of putative class action lawsuits alleging that they improperly failed to provide discounts on premiums for title policies issued in connection with a refinancing.  (For more on this, see the Title Insurance page of this blog.)  Although some classes have been certified on this issue, the federal … Continue Reading

Title Insurance Class Action on Reissue Premium Discounts: Kentucky Court of Appeals Affirms Class Certification

Numerous class actions have been filed against title insurance companies claiming that they failed to properly discount rates when policies were reissued, typically in connection with refinancing of properties.  (For more on this, see, for example, my August 2, 2012 post.)  Contrary to some prior decisions in federal courts, the Kentucky Court of Appeals recently … Continue Reading

Title Insurance Class Action: Fifth Circuit Illustrates Analysis of Proposed Common Questions Under Wal-Mart v. Dukes

In a title insurance class action, the Fifth Circuit recently illustrated one method of applying the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes:  Analyze separately each question that the named plaintiffs propose as a  common question of law or fact.  Determine whether it is actually a proper question that a judge would decide as a … Continue Reading

Title Insurance Class Action: Denial of Certification Demonstrates Strategies for Avoiding and Defending Underwriting-Related Class Actions

Back in May of 2011, I wrote a blog post about a denial of class certification by the Western District of Washington in Boucher v. First American Title Insurance Company.  The court denied certification but allowed the plaintiffs to conduct discovery and later file a renewed motion for class certification.  The recent decision on the … Continue Reading

Applying Iqbal in Insurance Class Actions: Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Title Insurance Complaint

Several years ago, legal commentators wrote extensively about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), which revised the standard for a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).  Commentators have debated the extent to which these decisions … Continue Reading

Filed Rate Doctrine: Third Circuit Reaffirms Breadth of this Doctrine in Title Insurance Class Action

The filed rate doctrine is a general principle that a suit cannot be brought against an insurance company, or other company that is subject to rate regulation (such as a utility) challenging the appropriateness of rates that were filed with a regulatory agency.  The rationale for this doctrine is essentially that ratemaking is properly within … Continue Reading

Title Insurance Class Action: Fourth Circuit Affirms Decertification and Dismissal Based on Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

A recent Fourth Circuit opinion highlights the importance of exploring the possibility that plaintiffs in a class action may have an administrative remedy in the state insurance department, which they may have to exhaust before suit. Mitchell-Tracey v. United General Title Insurance Company, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 15952 (4th Cir. Aug. 2, 2011) was a … Continue Reading

First Class Certification Ruling in Insurance Class Action After Wal-Mart Finds No Commonality

I recently came across the first class certification ruling I’ve seen in an insurance case since the Supreme Court decided Wal-Mart (see my prior blog post).  The court strongly applied the new standard for commonality and found a lack of commonality, even though the same judge had previously found most of the class certification elements … Continue Reading

Title Insurance Class Actions: Arbitration As A New Defense Strategy After AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion

Law360 alerted me to one of the first significant decisions applying the Supreme Court’s opinion in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion (see my blog post about the Concepcion decision) – the Northern District of California decision in In re California Title Insurance Antitrust Litigation, No. 08-01341 JSW, slip op. (N.D. Cal. June 27, 2011).  (I don’t … Continue Reading

Insurance Rating Class Action: Sixth Circuit Decision Highlights Several Lessons Broadly Applicable to Insurance Class Actions

A new Sixth Circuit opinion in two putative class actions involving rates for title insurance demonstrates several lessons generally applicable to insurance class actions.  In Randleman v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, the plaintiffs claimed that title insurers failed to provide proper discounts for refinancing of mortgages.  The applicable Ohio rate manual provided that “[w]hen … Continue Reading

Title Insurance Class Action: Certification Denied Without Prejudice in Class Action Against First American Title Insurance Company

This is my first post on developments in title insurance class actions.  One hot-button issue in this area is whether insureds are properly receiving discounts on title insurance policies when mortgages are refinanced.  In one of these cases, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington recently denied class certification, although without prejudice … Continue Reading