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Judge grants class-action status to Century 21 lawsuit

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An 8-year-old lawsuit claiming Century 21 Real Estate Corp. and its parent company misused franchisee proceeds after Century 21 was sold in 1995 has new legs, after a judge granted the case class-action status this week.Attorneys who filed the lawsuit say the class certified by New Jersey Superior Court Judge Robert J. Brennan on Tuesday includes at least 1,000 current and former Century 21 franchisees, and possibly 4,000 or more.In a press release, attorneys for the plaintiffs said they estimate damages suffered "may total in the hundreds of millions of dollars."The lawsuit charges that Century 21 and its parent company failed to provide the required level of services, and misappropriated fees paid by franchisees into a national advertising fund.In a statement, Century 21 parent company Realogy Corp. said the claims in the 2002 lawsuit "were without merit, and they remain so today.""We have capably managed the Century 21 brand since its acquisition in 1995 and...