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Clifford Chance

Briefings

Supreme Court Rejects Extension of American Pipe to Stacked Class Actions

19 June 2018

On June 11, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court strengthened important constraints on the period in which plaintiffs can timely pursue claims on behalf of a purported class of similarly-situated parties. In China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, the Court adopted the position of most federal appeals courts, holding that the so-called American Pipe tolling rule—which holds that the timely filing of a class action complaint "tolls" (or pauses) the applicable statute of limitations for individual claims by members of the purported class—does not toll the limitations period for successive class action complaints brought by would-be class members. The ruling continues the Supreme Court's recent trend of restricting the use of class actions and provides a degree of certainty for companies exposed to the threat of class action litigation by affirming that that threat must come to an end within the statutory limitations periods mandated by Congress.

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