Galiano v. Fid. Nat'l Title Ins., No. 10-4941 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Defendants are title insurance companies, members of TIRSA, a rate service organization. Plaintiffs purchased title insurance from defendants. Rates are established and regulated by the New York Insurance Department, N.Y. Ins. Law 2305, 2306, which reviews loss experience and financial data submitted by individual insurers and rate service organizations, licensed by the Insurance Department. TIRSA annually submits data from its members and prepares the New York Title Insurance Rate manual, which is submitted to the Insurance Department for approval and sets forth collectively-fixed rates, which are based on: value of property insured; cost of insuring risk associated with issuing the policy; costs associated with examination of records; and agency commissions. While title agents do provide actual services, commissions exceed the value of the services. Plaintiffs alleged that title insurers get business by encouraging those making purchasing decisions to direct business to that insurer. The complaint alleged claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. 2607(a); the Sherman Act; New York General Business Law; and unjust enrichment. The district court dismissed. The Second Circuit affirmed. The complaint did not allege facts that would allow a plausible inference that defendants paid kickbacks for business referrals in violation of RESPA.