Appeal from a partial judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Alvin W. Thompson, Judge)
The opinion of the court was delivered by: John M. Walker, Jr., Circuit Judge:
Mahon v. Ticor Title Insurance Company
Before : WALKER, HALL, and CHIN, Circuit Judges.
dismissing from the case Defendants-Appellees Ticor
Title Insurance Company and Ticor Title Insurance Company of Florida
on the basis that Plaintiff-Appellant Deborah Mahon lacks
Article III standing to sue them because she does not allege that
injured her. Mahon argues that the district court erred
Article III requires only that she have suffered an injury at
hands of one, and not all, of the named defendants. We
Mahon's argument and affirm the district court's
Judge HALL concurs in a separate opinion.
Plaintiff Deborah Mahon appeals from a partial judgment of 21 the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut 22 (Alvin W. Thompson, Judge) dismissing from the case Defendants- 23 Appellees Ticor Title Insurance Company ("Ticor") and Ticor Title 24 Insurance Company of Florida ("Ticor Florida"). The district 25 court concluded that Mahon lacks Article III standing to sue 26 Ticor and Ticor Florida because she does not allege that they 27 injured her.
28 Mahon argues that the district court erred because, under 29 Article III of the Constitution, a plaintiff need only 30 demonstrate an injury resulting from the conduct of at least one 2 1 defendant. So long as this constitutional minimum is satisfied, 2 Mahon contends, the plaintiff may sue certain other parties 3 whether or not they injured her.
4 For the reasons that follow, we reject Mahon's argument and 5 AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.
7 I. Facts as Alleged in the Complaint 8 Chicago Title Insurance Company ("Chicago Title") and the 9 Ticor entities, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Fidelity National 10 Financial, Inc., provide title insurance to individuals in the 11 State of Connecticut. Title insurance protects against the risk 12 of a title challenge. In mortgage transactions, lenders 13 generally require borrowers to obtain title insurance to protect 14 their interest in the mortgaged property.
15 Under Connecticut law, title insurers must file premium rate 16 schedules with the Insurance Commissioner and charge premiums in 17 accordance with these schedules. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 38a- 18 419(a), (c). Chicago Title and the Ticor entities coordinated 19 with one another in preparing their rate schedules.
Their 20 schedules set a basic rate for new mortgages and a reduced rate 21 for refinance transactions, which generally require the title 22 insurer to perform less work and involve less risk. 23 Chicago Title and the Ticor entities routinely concealed the 24 reduced rate for refinance transactions from their customers.
In 1 June 2003, for example, Plaintiff-Appellant Deborah Mahon 2 refinanced the existing mortgage on a property in Branford, 3 Connecticut, and purchased title insurance for the property from 4 Chicago Title. At the closing, Chicago Title's agent did not 5 disclose to Mahon her eligibility for the discounted refinance 6 rate and charged her the full rate.
8 On April 28, 2009, Mahon sued Chicago Title and the Ticor 9 entities for the overcharge on behalf of herself and similarly 10 situated individuals. She alleges a class comprised of those who 11 paid for title insurance from Chicago Title or the Ticor entities 12 in Connecticut and who qualified for but paid more than the 13 reduced refinance rate. Mahon alleges that Chicago Title and the 14 Ticor entities' practice of overcharging on title insurance for 15 refinanced properties violates the Connecticut Unfair Trade 16 Practices Act ("CUTPA"), Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-110b(a). She also 17 brings claims for unjust enrichment, breach of implied contract, 18 and money had and received.
19 Mahon alleges that it was Chicago Title's conduct that 20 injured her personally. She does not allege any dealings with 21 the Ticor entities. Nevertheless, Mahon's complaint asserts that 22 the Ticor entities are proper defendants in her putative class 23 action because they are "juridically linked" to Chicago Title.
24 In other words, because Chicago Title and the Ticor entities are 1 wholly-owned subsidiaries of the same parent company, share 2 resources in Connecticut, coordinated in drafting their premium 3 rate schedules, and operate in the same manner with respect to 4 overcharging Connecticut borrowers in refinance transactions, 5 Mahon asserts that she can represent a class of borrowers injured 6 by Ticor and Ticor Florida, as well as borrowers injured by 7 Chicago Title, notwithstanding her own lack of injury with 8 respect to the Ticor entities. The juridical link doctrine stems 9 from dicta in the Ninth Circuit's opinion in La Mar v. H & B 10 Novelty & Loan Co., 489 F.2d 461 (9th Cir. 1973). The decision 11 recognized, but did not apply, two exceptions to the general rule 12 that a plaintiff cannot bring a class action against parties that 13 did not injure her. Id. at 466. One of these exceptions permits 14 a plaintiff to bring a class action against parties that did not 15 injure her (hereinafter "non-injurious parties") if those parties 16 are "juridically related" to the party that did injure her, and 17 if it would be "expeditious" to sue all the parties in one 18 action. Id.
19 In response to Mahon's complaint, the Ticor entities moved 20 to dismiss all counts against them for lack of standing.*fn2 They 21 argued that Mahon lacks Article III standing to sue them because 22 she does not allege any personal injury at their hands, and because the relationship between Chicago Title and the Ticor entities as alleged in her complaint is insufficient to establish a juridical link.
4 The district court granted the motion, dismissing all claims 5 against the Ticor entities. It did not, however, directly 6 address the issue framed in the Ticor entities' motion. While 7 the Ticor entities had argued that the allegations in Mahon's 8 complaint were insufficient to establish a juridical link, the 9 district court addressed whether, assuming that the allegations 10 in the complaint did establish a juridical link, the juridical 11 link was relevant to Article III standing. It answered this 12 question in the negative, holding that the juridical link 13 doctrine relates only to the question of class certification 14 under the Federal Rules and thus has no bearing on the Article 15 III standing inquiry. It concluded that ...