MIAMI-The appellate division of the Superior Court of New Jersey has denied Century 21 Real Estate Corp. and its parent, Cendant Corp., an appeal seeking to dismiss a lawsuit by current and former Century 21 franchisees, including one in Miami-Dade County.

The franchisees filed the class-action lawsuit Jan. 20, 2002. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages for breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and breach of fiduciary duty, among other claims.

The complaint alleges Cendant and Century 21 failed to fulfill their obligations under the franchise agreements to Century 21 franchisees throughout the country. The suit also charges Cendant and Century 21 with redirecting resources paid by Century 21 franchisees to benefit other Cendant real estate entities.

“Part of every dollar I earn goes to the defendants, but I receive less and less for it every year,” Gwendolyn Johnson, president of Frank K. Cooper Real Estate #1 Inc. in Miami-Dade County, FL, says in a prepared statement. She says much of her competition is owned by a company that is working for her.

Morris County Superior Court Judge Stephen F. Smith, denied Cendant and Century 21′s motion to dismiss the suit on July 12. Cendant and Century 21 unsuccessfully sought to have the appellate court reverse that decision. Now the case will proceed to trial in Superior Court.

The plaintiffs in the suit are represented by the law firms Adorno & Yoss in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling in New York and Seattle; and McElroy, Deutsch & Mulvaney in Morristown, NJ.

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