Hangover from Wal-Mart v. Dukes

Odle v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. presents an interesting, if unlikely to recur, issue about the tolling of limitations during appellate review of class certification.  No. 13-10037 (April 1, 2014).  The question was whether one of the plaintiffs in the original Wal-Mart v. Dukes class action was barred by limitations, when the Ninth Circuit’s en banc ruling had remanded the “former employee” claims (which included hers) for further consideration under a different part of Rule 23 that what the district court used.   The Fifth Circuit concluded that, under the considerations detailed by American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974) and later Circuit cases applying it, the claim was not time-barred: “To rule otherwise would frustrate American Pipe‘s careful balancing of the competing goals of class action litigation on the one hand and statutes of limitation on the other, by requiring former class members to file duplicative, needless individual lawsuits before the court could resolve the class certification issue definitively.”

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