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China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh

Supreme Court of the United States

March 26, 2018, Argued; June 11, 2018, Decided

No. 17-432.

Case Summary

Overview

HOLDINGS: [1]-Upon denial of class certification, a putative class member could not, in lieu of promptly joining an existing suit or promptly filing an individual action, commence a class action anew beyond the time allowed by the applicable statute of limitations; [2]-The American Pipe rule tolled the statute of limitations during the pendency of a putative class action, allowing unnamed class members to join the action individually or file individual claims if the class failed, but it did not permit the maintenance of a follow-on class action past expiration of the statute of limitations.

Outcome

Judgment reversed; case remanded. 9-0 decision; 1 concurrence.

LexisNexis® Headnotes

 

 

Civil Procedure > ... > Statute of Limitations > Tolling of Statute of Limitations > Class Actions

HN1  Class Actions

Upon denial of class certification, may a putative class member, in lieu of promptly joining an existing suit or promptly filing an individual action, commence a class action anew beyond the time allowed by the applicable statute of limitations? The answer is no. The American Pipe rule tolls the statute of limitations during the pendency of a putative class action, allowing unnamed class members to join the action individually or file individual claims if the class fails. But the American Pipe rule does not permit the maintenance of a follow-on class action past expiration of the statute of limitations.

 

Civil Procedure > ... > Statute of Limitations > Tolling of Statute of Limitations > Class Actions

HN2  Class Actions

The American Pipe rule established that the commencement of the original class suit tolls the running of the statute of limitations for all purported members of the class who make timely motions to intervene after the court has found the suit inappropriate for class action status.

 

Civil Procedure > ... > Statute of Limitations > Tolling of Statute of Limitations > Class Actions

HN3  Class Actions

The American Pipe rule 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; any additional class filings should be made early on, soon after the commencement of the first action seeking class certification.

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138 S. Ct. 1800 ; 201 L. Ed. 2d 123 ; 2018 U.S. LEXIS 3502 ; 86 U.S.L.W. 4369; Fed. Sec. L. Rep. (CCH) P100,113; 100 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 1370; 27 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 336; 2018 WL 2767565

CHINA AGRITECH, INC., Petitioner v. MICHAEL H. RESH, et al.

Notice: The LEXIS pagination of this document is subject to change pending release of the final published version.

Prior History:  [1] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

Resh v. China Agritech, Inc., 857 F.3d 994, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9029 (9th Cir. Cal., May 24, 2017)

Disposition: 857 F. 3d 994, reversed and remanded.