Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was retained by a title company in connection with a claim that the search performed by the title company was negligent. The title company was retained by the purchaser of the property in connection with the sale of a property that was inherited after the death of seller’s father. Seller represented that he was the sole heir of the decedent and executed an heirship affidavit indicating he was the sole heir. The property was transferred to the purported sole heir and then sold to purchaser.
Plaintiff commenced an action claiming that he was also an heir of the decedent and alleged that the title company was negligent in their search by failing to determine that he was also an heir.
Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. moved for summary judgment to dismiss the action against the title company based upon Plaintiff not having the legal capacity to sue the title company and failing to state a claim. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. argued that Plaintiff admits that the title company was retained by the purchaser and therefore, the title company is not subject to any suit for negligent performance by anyone other than the party who contracted its services absent evidence of fraud or collusion which Plaintiff failed to proffer. Moreover Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. argued that even if the affidavit of heirship was inappropriate – which it was not – Plaintiff lacked standing to assert that argument as Plaintiff was not in privity with the title company.
The Court fully adopted Adam Leitman Bailey P.C.’s argument holding that it was undisputed that the title company was retained by the purchaser and that there was no allegations or evidence of fraud or collusion on the part of the title company. The Court also stated that Plaintiff failed to state a cause of action against the title company.
Plaintiff made a motion to renew and reargue the Court’s decision but failed to set forth any new facts or law that would affect the Court’s prior determination. Accordingly, the Court again ruled in favor of the title company and denied the portion of Plaintiff’s motion as against the title company.
Plaintiff and the other Defendants in the action (the seller and purchaser) went on to pursue appellate practice regarding the Court’s prior decisions. However, due to the strength of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s arguments and the Court completely ruling in favor of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.’s client, the parties agreed to stipulate to dismiss the appeals as against the title company.
Jackie Halpern Weinstein, Esq. and Danny Ramrattan, Esq. of the Title Litigation and Foreclosure Litigation Groups at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. secured this result for its client.