The Eleventh Circuit has doubled down on its prior holding that a pending class action will not toll the statute of limitations for a later class action seeking to represent the same class. Plaintiff brought a class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which carries a four-year statute of limitations. The state court granted summary judgment against plaintiff for lack of standing. A new plaintiff then sought to represent the class in federal court with a similar complaint, but filed more than four years after the alleged conduct. The district court struck plaintiff’s class allegations as time-barred, relying on Griffin v. Singletary, 17 F.3d 356 (11th Cir. 1994), which held that a pending class action did not toll the limitations period for additional class actions by members of the original class.
Plaintiff’s view of Griffin was that it only barred tolling for class actions that failed due to defects in the class itself, rather than failure of the class representative. The Eleventh Circuit rejected this argument, expressly distancing itself from other circuit courts which held to the contrary. The court felt that the distinction plaintiff drew did not matter in Griffin and did not matter for future cases; in either situation, the concern was with plaintiffs “piggybacking” one class onto another in endless rounds of litigation. Concerned about the “potential for multiple rounds of litigation as the class seeks an adequate class representative,” the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court.