Justices, counsel debate boundaries of American Pipe tolling

By Anne Sherry, J.D.The Supreme Court heard oral argument on whether American Pipe tolling permits follow-on class actions after the statutory limitations period has run. In the view of the hopeful plaintiffs, tolling permits individual claims, and individuals have access to class actions under the federal rules. But some justices seemed skeptical of the idea that the equitable concept of tolling should be applied so expansively as to permit serial class action filings (China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, March 26, 2018).China Agritech actions. Several named plaintiffs, the respondents here, brought a class action against China Agritech and its officers and directors. The plaintiffs had been unnamed class members in two earlier class actions based on the same underlying events; class certification was denied in both of those earlier actions. The district court dismissed the new class action as time-barred, observing that the Supreme Court had not yet determined whether American Pipe…

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