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Bily v. Arthur Young & Co.

Supreme Court of California
834 P.2d 745 (1992)


Facts

Osborne Computer Company (Osborne) hired Arthur Young & Company (Young) (defendant) to audit Osborne’s financial statements. Young submitted unqualified or “clean” audit opinions on Osborne’s finances for 1981 and 1982. Bily and others (plaintiffs), who were not clients of Young, invested in Osborne based on Young’s audit findings. According to the plaintiffs, Osborne’s liabilities were actually $3 million greater than what Young reported. The plaintiffs brought suit against Young. The trial court instructed the jury on general negligence, and the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs. Young appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Lucas, C.J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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