China Agritech v. Resh (Merits)

Issue: Class Actions
Court: U.S. Supreme Court

Term: October 2017
Oral Argument: March 26, 2018
Vote: 9-0
Opinion: Justice Ginsburg
Lower Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Question Presented:
Whether the American Pipe rule tolls statutes of limitations to permit a previously absent class member to bring a subsequent class action outside the applicable limitations period.

RLC's Position:
The RLC joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Tort Reform Association in filing an amici brief to explain that the judicially created American Pipe rule contravenes U.S. Supreme Court precedent and the Rules Enabling Act. Additionally, the rule raises separation of powers concerns and prevents judicial efficiency by burdening courts and defendants with endless rounds of precertification litigation. The brief ultimately asks the Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit's decision and to reject the expansion of the American Piperule. 

Case Outcome:
The Court concluded that upon denial of class certification, a putative class member may not, in lieu of promptly joining an existing suit or promptly filing an individual action, commence a class action answer beyond that time allowed by the applicable statute of limitations. Reversed and remanded. 

Procedural History & Case Documents:

Please use the DOWNLOAD button below to access the RLC's Brief.


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