NewYorkUniversity
LawReview
Current Issue

Volume 94, Number 4

October 2019

Rejecting the Class Action Tolling Forfeiture Rule

James J. Mayer

This Note analyzes a circuit split over the application of the Forfeiture Rule, which holds that plaintiffs forfeit American Pipe tolling when they file individual actions before class certification has been resolved in the underlying putative class action. This Note rejects the Forfeiture Rule and argues that it misunderstands the purpose and rationale of American Pipe and class action tolling. Given the increased uncertainty facing class action plaintiffs, the policy and equity interests that motivated courts to adopt the Forfeiture Rule now require courts to abandon it. This is the first article to analyze the Forfeiture Rule’s history and evolution, to explore the impact of changes in class action jurisprudence on statutes of limitations on the Forfeiture Rule, and to argue against the continued viability of the Forfeiture Rule across the federal judicial system.