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ABRAHAM FISCHER AND MAE FISCHER v. HARRY K. MADWAY (12/14/84)

filed: December 14, 1984.

ABRAHAM FISCHER AND MAE FISCHER, HIS WIFE, MARJORIE GARFIELD, IRENE B. KLEIN, AARON PAULL AND MARY PAULL, HIS WIFE, ALAN P. WEST AND HALLYE A. WEST, HIS WIFE, AND ALL PERSONS SIMILARLY SITUATED
v.
HARRY K. MADWAY, SAM MADWAY, RALPH K. MADWAY AND JACOB MARGOLIS, INDIVIDUALLY & TRADING AS MADWAY ENGINEERS AND CONSTRUCTORS, A/K/A GREEN HILL IN LOWER MERION; MADWAY ENGINEERS AND CONSTRUCTORS, A/K/A GREEN HILL IN LOWER MERION; DAVID ALTMAN, MORRIS OCKMAN, DANIEL J. KEATING, JR. AND HERMAN SHORE, CO-PARTNERS TRADING AS GREEN HILL LIMITED PARTNERSHIP; ROBERT S. BLANK AND JEFFREY C. BLANK, CO-PARTNERS TRADING AS CDR GREEN HILL AND CDR GREEN HILL, A LIMITED PARTNERSHIP. APPEAL OF SAMUEL SOBLE, JOSEPH E. BIBEN, WILLIAM PACKEL, MICHAEL FAGAN, ELI A. LEVY, HENRIETTA F. RITT, DAVID M. LEVY, HELEN M. ROSEN, RUTH KARABELL, DORIS L. BRENNER SOSTMAN AND BESS HOFFMAN



No. 3248 Philadelphia, 1982, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Montgomery County, No. 75-8242.

COUNSEL

Jack M. Bernard, Philadelphia, for appellants.

Stanley A. Uhr, Philadelphia, for Fischer, etc., appellees.

Richard M. Rosenbleeth, Philadelphia, for Madway, etc., appellees.

Wickersham, Wieand and Lipez, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 291]

In this appeal from an order approving settlement of a class action, eleven objectors*fn1 contend (1) that the notice of the proposed settlement contained inadequate information, and (2) that the trial court abused its discretion by approving the proposed settlement. We find no merit in these contentions and, accordingly, affirm the order of the trial court.

Plaintiffs,*fn2 representing a class consisting of present and former tenants of Green Hill, a luxury apartment complex in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, filed a

[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 292]

    complaint in equity challenging the validity of an "unlimited addendum" and a "limited addendum" to leases signed by tenants. These addenda were described by the trial court as follows:

Starting with lease terms commencing or being renewed on or about October 1, 1969, all Green Hill residential leases had as a part of them the so-called "unlimited addendum" under which the tenant agreed, inter alia, to pay as additional rent his proportionate share in the increases in operating, leasing, administrative, tax and insurance costs (as defined in the addendum) which were actually incurred at Green Hill during the then current year in excess of the amount for these items which was expended during a previous, designated base year. Starting in or about the summer of 1973, Green Hill discontinued the use of the so-called "unlimited addendum," and began incorporating into new leases and lease renewals as they were made a so-called "limited addendum." The "limited addendum" worked in essentially the same manner as the "unlimited addendum," except that it only provided for the passing through to the tenant the proportionate share of the increases in the costs of insurance, taxes and utilities, as defined in the addendum.

Memorandum Opinion accompanying order dated July 22, 1982, at p. 4 (per Vogel, J.). The complaint requested the court to declare the addenda void as contracts of adhesion and to order the defendants to return all monies collected pursuant thereto.*fn3 Pursuant to stipulation, on August 8, 1980, the court entered an order which permitted plaintiffs' attorney and his selected accountant to inspect and audit the financial records of Green Hill to determine the costs which had been passed on to the tenants ...


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