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Friday, August 05, 2011

Certified question. The Second Circuit has certified two questions to the Virginia Supreme Court. The questions are:

1. Does Virginia law permit equitable tolling of a state statute of limitations due to the pendancy of a putative class action in another jurisdiction?

2. Does Va. Code Ann. 8.01-229(E)(1) permit tolling of a state statute of limitations due to the pendency of a putative class action in another jurisdiction?

In Casey v. Merck & Co., the plaintiffs had filed a products liability claims that were governed byVirginia law after the limitations period had elapsed, but argued that the statute should have been tolled because of the existence of a class action asserting the same claims in Tennessee under the doctrine of American Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah. The plaintiffs claimed that Virginia recognized this doctrine. The Second Circuit felt unsure of this issue and certified the questions. The decision in Casey can be found here.

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