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Hertzberg v. Dignity Partners, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
191 F.3d 1076 (1999)


Facts

Dignity Partners, Inc. (defendant) was a corporation that would purchase the life insurance policies of AIDS patients, and then take on the premium payments for the policies. Upon the patients’ deaths, Dignity Partners would receive the proceeds from the policies. In order to raise capital, Dignity Partners had one stock offering. Shortly after the offering, a study was released indicating that AIDS patients were living much longer than they had several years earlier. Dignity incurred many losses as a result, since it was forced to pay the premiums on the life insurance policies for much longer than it had previously. Hertzberg (plaintiff), a Dignity Partners stockholder, brought suit against Dignity Partners for failing to disclose this fact in its registration statement. The district court ruled in favor of Dignity Partners, stating that Hertzberg did not have standing under Section 11 because Hertzberg had purchased Dignity Partners stock more than 25 days after it had been issued. Hertzberg then appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Fletcher, 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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