Over 40 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided the landmark case American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), which held that the filing of a class action complaint tolls the statute of limitations for putative class members’ respective individual claims. What American Pipe and its progeny do not address is whether the filing of a putative class action tolls the statute of limitations for absent class members to file subsequent class actions—not simply individual lawsuits. Until now. In December 2017, the Supreme Court granted the petition for writ of certiorari in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, No. 17-432, to address this issue. While China Agritech may be grounded in securities laws, the implications of the Court’s decision will affect all class litigation. Therefore, all class practitioners should take heed.
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