In American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah (1974), the Supreme Court held that the commencement of a class action tolls the statute of limitations for all purported members of the class. Once class certification has been denied, however, tolling ends and absent class members must timely file an individual claim or move to intervene in the suit. A Ninth Circuit panel recently extended the American Pipe rule, holding that tolling applies not only through the initial denial of class certification, but extends to a subsequent class action seeking a second bite at the apple. This approach would allow lawyers seeking to represent a plaintiff class to extend the statute of limitations almost indefinitely.
The Litigation Center supported a petition for writ of certiorari, which the Supreme Court has granted.