Appraiser Miller wins important claim in racial discrimination lawsuit. Judge ruled Plaintiffs did not rely on Miller’s appraisal. The other claims continue but this was an important claim. It also shows the Plaintiffs lied to the Court.
ORDER GRANTING MILLER DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT; DISMISSING PLAINTIFFS’ SEVENTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF AS ASSERTED AGAINST MILLER DEFENDANTS; VACATING HEARING.
In their Seventh Claim for Relief, 2 plaintiffs allege the Miller Defendants negligently misrepresented “that they were providing an unbiased appraisal of [the Austins’ house],” and that the Austins “reasonably relied” on such representations “in attempting to secure a mortgage loan with favorable terms.”
Although plaintiffs assert the Austins “reasonably relied on defendants’ representations” (see FAC ¶ 106), nothing in the FAC states, or even suggests, the Austins believed the representations in the Miller Defendants’ appraisal report were true. Rather, plaintiffs allege the Austins were “shocked” by the report, did not use it, and, instead, contacted their broker to request a “second appraisal from a different appraiser” (see FAC ¶ 68), as they needed an appraisal in order to “refinance [their] mortgage”
Accordingly, the instant motion to dismiss is hereby GRANTED, and plaintiffs’ Seventh Claim for Relief, as asserted against the Miller Defendants, is hereby DISMISSED without further leave to amend. Plaintiffs’ Seventh Claim for Relief, as asserted against the Miller Defendants, is dismissed without further leave to amend.
Signed by Judge Maxine M. Chesney on August 22, 2022.
Plaintiffs purchased the house on 12/13/2016 at $550,000 from a black family, who had a preference to sell their house to someone of like race and carried out this sale off-market. Post-purchase, 270 square feet of living space was added to the ground level, and the house was renovated. The Austins had an appraisal performed, before the renovation and addition, which came in at $889,000. Appraiser Miller, hired by appraisal services company AMC Links, performed an appraisal in January 2020 which came in at $995,500. Since Appraiser Miller’s appraisal was not high enough for the Austins to achieve their objective, they complained to the lender and another appraisal was ordered. The Austins had a white friend stage their house to appear owned by a white person, and the second appraiser was met for the inspection and informed about the cost of additions and renovations at approximately $400,000. The second appraisal came in at $1,482,500, $487,000 more than Miller’s.
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