Case Study: China Agritech
A Far-Reaching Check on Serial Class Actions
In a rare accomplishment in securities litigation, we successfully defended China Agritech, a Chinese fertilizer manufacturer, and certain of its officers and directors in three successive class actions, twice defeating motions for class certification and securing dismissal of the third case on statute of limitations grounds. Although the Ninth Circuit reversed that dismissal, on June 11, 2018, the US Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit and reinstated our victory. The Court unanimously held that the plaintiff’s third attempt to bring a class action was barred under the Exchange Act’s statute of limitations and rejected the plaintiff’s argument that American Pipe tolling applied.
The ruling has far-reaching implications for class-action defendants, leading Law360 to name it one of the biggest securities decisions of 2018.