- The Bell Tolls For…ever? Circuit Courts Split on Tolling of Class Claims
- August 30, 2017 | Authors: Lewis S. Wiener; Francis X. Nolan
- Law Firms: Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP - Washington Office; Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP - New York Office
Bloomberg Law – Class Action Litigation Report
In May 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the statute of limitations for the claims of a putative class was tolled while the proposed class representative in one action was an unnamed putative class member in two prior lawsuits based on the same allegations against the same defendants. The court’s decision in Resh v. China Agritech, Inc., essentially allows plaintiffs’ attorneys—at least in the Ninth Circuit—to get multiple bites at the apple and prosecute the same class action again and again until they can find the right mix of class representative, claims, expert and judge to have the class certified.The opinion also creates a Circuit Court split, and opens the door for the United States Supreme Court to add a new chapter to its American Pipe line of jurisprudence regarding tolling in the context of class action litigation. Practically speaking, there are numerous implications for companies that may now face class action lawsuits that could drag on indefinitely. In their article for Bloomberg BNA, Eversheds Sutherland attorneys Lewis Wiener and Francis Nolan examine the American Pipe case law and explain what the Ninth Circuit’s decision means for defendants and would-be defendants in already costly class action litigation.