BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Feb 22, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- On February 18, 2010, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed with prejudice a putative class action lawsuit filed against Pulte Homes, Inc., Pulte Home Corporation and Pulte Mortgage LLC. The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that Pulte engaged in misconduct that contributed to the mortgage crisis.
The suit drew from reports issued by the Laborer's International Union of North America ("LiUNA") and other union-related groups that attempt to blame Pulte and other large homebuilders for the mortgage crisis. In fact, the attorneys who drafted the suit lifted sections of one union sponsored report and inserted them verbatim into the complaint. The lawsuit was filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP, which has worked with LiUNA to file at least one other class action lawsuit against another national homebuilder.
According to Pulte Homes, for some time, LiUNA and other union groups have engaged in an intimidation campaign against Pulte in order to coerce the Company to force its independent trade partners to sign union agreements. As part of that campaign, these union groups have been behind false claims that Pulte and other residential homebuilders engaged in improper practices with respect to the sale of homes. They have pressed these same false claims through official-looking, but misleading, reports, lawsuits, media articles and testimony before various State and Federal regulatory and rulemaking proceedings.
The Court had the opportunity to address many of these allegations in the lawsuit and found them lacking in merit, specifically citing that the Plaintiff did not have a "plausible claim" and that the Plaintiff had an "insurmountable problem" because Plaintiff could not show that the alleged damages were caused by the alleged misconduct of Pulte. The Court found that Plaintiff's legal theory depended on a myriad of factors beyond Pulte's control, such as unemployment, a general weakening economy and other economic factors that can have unpredictable effects on the housing market.
The swift dismissal, which came only four months after the case was filed, was with prejudice, meaning that the Plaintiff's attorneys cannot amend their complaint. A copy of the final order can be found here.
About Pulte Homes
Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM) is one of America's largest home building companies with operations in 69 markets, 29 states and the District of Columbia. In 2009, Pulte Homes brands received more top rankings than any other homebuilder in the annual J.D. Power and Associates 2009 New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Studysm. Pulte Mortgage LLC is a nationwide lender offering Pulte customers a variety of loan products and superior service.
SOURCE: Pulte Homes