Friday, December 27, 2013

Grunin v. International House of Pancakes case brief

Grunin v. International House of Pancakes case brief summary
513 F.2d 114 (1975)

This was an appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri in which the court approved a proposed settlement between franchiser and franchisees.

Three consolidated appeals arose out of the district court's approval of a proposed settlement of a private antitrust national class action brought by franchisees against their franchiser. On appeal, one appellant contended that the approval of the settlement was improper because the notice given to the class did not satisfy the requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 and due process.


  • The appellate court held Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 provided that notice of a proposed settlement must be given to the class. The notice must be reasonably calculated under all the circumstances, apprise the parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present objections. 
  • Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e) also required that notice be given in the manner directed by the court. 
  • The court reviewed the evidence in is entirety and held the notices provided required settlement information with sufficient neutrality.

The court held that the lower court did not abuse its discretion in its approval of the proposed settlement of the case, but reversed in part the attorney fee award and remanded for further hearings regarding this issue.

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