Aspartame Class Action Dismissal Affirmed on Statute of Limitations Grounds

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On January 28, 2011, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion affirmed the 2008 decision of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to toss the Aspartame class action on statute of limitations grounds. The court of appeals agreed that the plaintiffs could not invoke the equitable doctrine of fraudulent concealment to toll the four-year statute of limitations for antitrust claims. In re Aspartame Antitrust Litig., Case No. 09-1487. Doc #003110422286, filed 1/28/2011 (hereafter "Op.").

The class plaintiffs asserted claims under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, alleging that the defendants had conspired to fix the prices of and allocate the market for Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, since at least January 1, 1993. Op. at 2; see also In re Aspartame Antitrust Litig., No. 2:06-CV-1732-LDD, 2008 WL 4724094, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 11, 2008). The underlying class action was commenced in April, 2006, making the applicable statute of limitations, April 2002.

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