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Martorella v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

August 5, 2015, Decided; August 6, 2015, Entered on Docket

Case No. 12-80372-CIV-MARRA/BRANNON

Opinion

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS CLAIMS OF GRAHAM & WRIGHT

THIS CAUSE is before the Court upon Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Claims of Plaintiffs Graham and Wright [DE 213]. The motion is fully briefed and ripe for review. The Court has carefully considered all relevant filings and is fully advised in the premises.

Introduction

Plaintiffs Madelaine Martorella ("Martorella"), Tracey Lawrence Graham ("Graham"), and Dorothy Wright ("Wright"), as personal representative of the Estate of Arnold Robinson1 (collectively "Plaintiffs") bring this action against Defendant Homeward Residential, Inc. ("Homeward"), f/k/a American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., arising out of Homeward's participation in an alleged scheme to force-place insurance coverage at grossly excessive and unreasonable prices on properties owned by Plaintiffs and other Florida homeowners.2 Plaintiffs allege that Homeward violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act ("FDUTPA"), [*3]  breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing implied in their mortgages, and was unjustly enriched by force-placing "excessively priced insurance policies that provide less comprehensive coverage, while keeping a portion of those excessive premiums as commissions or other remuneration." Martorella v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co., 931 F. Supp. 2d 1218, 1223 (S.D. Fla. 2013) (Marra, J.).

This proposed class action was initially filed by Martorella in state court. After removal, Defendants moved to dismiss Martorella's claims. Defendants' first motion to dismiss was denied. Id. About a year later, Martorella sought leave to amend her complaint to add Graham and Wright as plaintiffs in view of Defendants' attempts to eliminate her as class representative by way of refunds to her escrow account long after initiation of the suit. See DE nos. 128, 132, 153, 177. The Motion to Amend was granted. DE 208.

On September [*4]  24, 2014, Plaintiffs filed the Amended Class Action Complaint ("Complaint" or "Compl."), which added Graham and Wright as named plaintiffs. DE 209. By way of the instant motion, Defendants have moved to dismiss the claims of Graham and Wright (Counts I, V and XI).

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2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178172 *

MADELAINE MARTORELLA, TRACEY LAWRENCE GRAHAM, and DOROTHY WRIGHT, as personal representative of the ESTATE OF ARNOLD ROBINSON, Plaintiffs, vs. DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS INDENTURE TRUSTEE FOR AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE INVESTMENT TRUST 2006-1, and AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., Defendants.

Subsequent History: Reconsideration denied by Martorella v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178136 (S.D. Fla., Nov. 9, 2015)

Prior History: Martorella v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36886 (S.D. Fla., Mar. 18, 2013)

CORE TERMS

mortgage, coverage, Borrower, Lender, motion to dismiss, allegations, insured, letters, confirmation, premium, escrow account, unjust enrichment, cancelled, covenant, fair dealing, good faith, documents, arranged, duty of loyalty, affiliate, causation, amounts, claim for breach, unfair practice, lender-placed, force-placed, commissions, consumers, regulated, servicers