Universal Frozen Foods Co., Plaintiff-appellee, v. Lamb-weston, Inc., Defendant-appellant, 42 F.3d 1409 (Fed. Cir. 1994)

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit - 42 F.3d 1409 (Fed. Cir. 1994)

Nov. 16, 1994

Before PLAGER, Circuit Judge.



PLAGER, Circuit Judge.

Lamb-Weston Inc. moves to vacate the September 22, 1993 judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho and to remand with instructions to the district court to dismiss Universal Frozen Food Co's complaint with prejudice. Universal Frozen Foods has not filed a response.

Lamb-Weston states that on August 1, 1994, Lamb-Weston merged with Universal Frozen Foods into the company of "Lamb-Weston, Inc." and that Universal Frozen Foods "ceased to exist as a legal entity." Lamb-Weston informs us that under the terms of the purchase agreement, Lamb-Weston's parent company assumed certain rights, liabilities and obligations of Universal Frozen Foods including the instant appeal. Lamb-Weston argues that this appeal is now moot because there are no longer any adverse parties and no case or controversy as required by Article III. Lamb-Weston requests that this court vacate the district court judgment and remand with instructions to the district court to dismiss the case with prejudice. See Smith Intern., Inc. v. Hughes Tool Co., 839 F.2d 663, 664 (Fed. Cir. 1988); U.S. Philips Corp. v. Windmere Corp., 971 F.2d 728, 731 (Fed. Cir. 1992).

This matter appears to be moot. Under this court's precedent, when a case becomes moot during the pendency of an appeal, "it is the duty of the appellate court to set aside the decree below and remand with directions to dismiss." Smith, 839 F.2d at 664. See also Duke Power Co. v. Greenwood County, 299 U.S. 259, 267 (1936); United States v. Munsingwear, Inc., 340 U.S. 36, 39-41 (1950).



(1) Lamb-Weston's motion to vacate the judgment of the district court is granted.

(2) The case is remanded to the district court with instructions to dismiss the complaint with prejudice.