Ross O. LITTLE, Co-Trustee, et al., Appellants,
SUNTRUST BANK, Co-Trustee, Appellee.
January 31, 2019
from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
(LIT-19-15), (Hon. Gerald I. Fisher, Trial Judge)
J. Miller, pro hac vice, by special leave of court, with whom
P. Randolph Seybold was on the brief, for appellants Henry L.
Strong, Ross O. Little, John Henry Strong, Allana Hope
Strong, and Kip Clayton Strong.
A. Glaser, with whom William E. Davis, Washington, was on the
brief, for appellee.
Blackburne-Rigsby, Chief Judge, and Glickman and Fisher,
Bank filed suit against Henry L. Strong, Ross O. Little, Kip
Clayton Strong, John Henry Strong, and Allana Hope Strong
(collectively, the "Strong Family") seeking court
approval of its resignation as co-trustee of the Strong
Family Trust and a complete release from liability. In
response, the Strong Family filed counterclaims alleging
breach of contract, breach of duty of loyalty, breach of
fiduciary duty, and violation of the District of Columbia
Consumer Protection Procedures Act ("CPPA"). The
only issue before us is the trial courts grant of summary
judgment on the CPPA counterclaim. We vacate the section of
the trial courts judgment concerning the CPPA counterclaim
and remand with instructions to dismiss for lack of
counterclaim, the Strong Family alleges SunTrust violated the
CPPA by making false representations about a proposed fee
increase, its right to unilaterally increase its fees, and
its right to resign as corporate trustee and obtain a
complete release of liability. The Strong Family did not pay
the higher fees, nor did it sign the broad release proffered
by SunTrust. Nevertheless, it invokes the CPPA, which
provides in part that it is "a violation of this chapter
for any person to engage in an unfair or deceptive trade
practice, whether or not any consumer is in fact misled,
deceived, or damaged thereby, including to misrepresent as to
a material fact which has a tendency to mislead." D.C.
Code § 28-3904(e) (2018 Supp.).
II. Standing Requirements
though Congress created the District of Columbia court system
under Article I of the Constitution, rather than
Article III, this court has followed consistently the
constitutional standing requirement embodied in Article
III." Grayson v. AT & T Corp.,15 A.3d 219, 224
(D.C. 2011) (en banc), amended, 140 A.3d 1155 (D.C.
2011). In light of a recent Supreme Court decision, we issued
an order requesting the parties to address at oral argument
whether the Strong Family had alleged an injury-in-fact
sufficient to meet the requirement of standing. SeeSpokeo, Inc. v. Robins, __ U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 1540,
1549, 194 L.Ed.2d 635 (2016) ("a plaintiff [does not]
automatically satisf[y] the injury-in-fact requirement