Tag: American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah

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No More Zombie Class Actions: Supreme Court Stops Class Members from Filing Successive Class Claims after Expiration of Limitations Period

No More Zombie Class Actions: Supreme Court Stops Class Members from Filing Successive Class Claims after Expiration of Limitations Period

By: Andrew C. Glass, Roger L. Smerage, Elma Delic                     

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a plaintiff cannot file a class action outside the applicable statute of limitations merely because an unsuccessful prior class action tolled the limitations period for individual claims.[1]  In China Agritech v. Resh,[2] the Court held that its prior jurisprudence “does not permit the maintenance of a follow-on class action past expiration of the statute of limitations.”[3]  Rather, that jurisprudence only tolls the statute of limitations for unnamed class members to intervene in the action “individually or file individual claims if the class fails.”[4]  In reaching this conclusion, the Court recognized that “[t]he Federal Rules [of Civil Procedure] provide a range of mechanisms to aid courts in” overseeing complex litigation, such as where individual claims are added on after a denial of class certification.[5]  But, critically, “[w]hat the Rules do not offer is a reason to permit plaintiffs to exhume failed class actions by filing new, untimely class claims.”[6]

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