A federal judge authorized a class-action suit Wednesday against one of the state's largest real estate groups, after a Howard County couple accused it of running a half-million dollar kickback scheme with a title insurance company.
A suit filed in Baltimore by home buyers Christine and Patrick Baehr alleges The Creig Northrop Team, which has offices across central Maryland, of illegally accepting payments from Lakeview Title in exchange for sending the firm business.
"We are pleased with the court's ruling, and we will continue to to vigorously prosecute this class action on behalf of our clients," said the couple's attorney, Gregory T. Lawrence of Baltimore law firm Conti Fenn & Lawrence.
Attorneys for the defendants could not be reached for comment, but they previously denied the allegations. In court papers, the defendants asked for the case to be thrown out because it was filed too late.
U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, rejected the plaintiff's argument that the class should include anyone who bought a home with the Northrop Team and Lakeview back to 2000. Instead, he limited the case to the agent's clients since 2008.
The judge dismissed claims against Long & Foster, the broker for the Northrop Team and a claim against the wife of Creig Northrop.