June 25, 2018

June 25, 2018

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June 22, 2018

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For Whom the Bell Tolls? It Tolls for Thee, American Pipe and Successive Class Actions

Clients regularly ask: If we win this putative class action, can the opposition just file another one on behalf of another as-yet-unidentified putative class representative?  Until June 11, the answer was “Maybe?”  Now, the answer is clearly no.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court (in reversing the Ninth Circuit) clarified that the tolling recognized under American Pipe applies only to successive individual actions, not successive putative class actions.  China Agritech v. Resh, 2018 U.S. LEXIS 3502, *23 (U.S. 2018).  According to the opinion authored by Justice Ginsburg: “We hold that American Pipe does not permit a plaintiff who waits out the statute of limitations to piggyback on an earlier, timely filed class action.  The ‘efficiency and economy of litigation’ that support tolling of individual claims . . . do not support maintenance of untimely successive class actions.”  Id. at *13-*14.

In her concurrence in the judgment, Justice Sotomayor wrote she would limit the holding to cases under the PSLRA.  Id. at *24.  But she was alone in that view.  Id.

We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court in continuing to recognize the inherent limits of class action procedure, and we look forward to similar opinions in the future.

© 2018 Vedder Price

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About this Author

Blaine C. Kimrey, media defense Litigation, Vedder Price Law Firm Chicago Office
Shareholder

Blaine C. Kimrey is a Shareholder in the Litigation practice area in the firm’s Chicago office.

A former journalist at two daily newspapers (the Austin American-Statesman and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette), Mr. Kimrey is a trial lawyer who has dedicated more than 20 years to working for and defending media entities. Mr. Kimrey’s practice, however, extends well beyond media defense, focusing on a broad range of direct and class action litigation involving topics as diverse as privacy, consumer deception, intellectual property,...

312-609 7865
Bryan Clark, Litigation Attorney, Vedder Price Law Firm
Associate

Bryan Clark is an Associate at Vedder Price and a member of the Litigation group in the firm’s Chicago office.  He has an extensive media and privacy practice that includes privacy class action defense, mobile-marketing litigation, class action TCPA litigation, copyright litigation, right of publicity litigation, data breach response, FOIA issues, reporter’s privilege issues and prepublication review.

Mr. Clark’s other representative work includes drafting successful dispositive motions in right of publicity and invasion of privacy cases, arguing successful motions to quash on behalf of media entities facing subpoenas, defeating motions for preliminary injunction in intellectual property litigation, and advising advertising and marketing clients on compliance issues. He presents on issues related to digital privacy and data breach before a national audience, such as the ABA Annual Meeting in 2013.

312-609 7810