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Court finds Wal-Mart employee discrimination claim barred

A Texas federal district court ruled that a subsequent class action lawsuit, filed by plaintiffs from an earlier class action case, had been filed too late and should be dismissed. In Odle v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the plaintiff had sued Wal-Mart for employment discrimination against women on issues of pay and promotion.

The women had been part of the class action lawsuit that was filed in California and rejected by the Supreme Court in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and they filed this case after the Dukes case was found by the Supreme Court to be inappropriate for a nationwide class.

The women had been part of the class action lawsuit that was filed in California and rejected by the Supreme Court in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. They filed this new case after the Dukes case was found by the Supreme Court to be inappropriate for a nationwide class.

This issue in Odle was whether the statute of limitation was "tolled" or placed on hold, until the Supreme Court's final decision in the Dukes case. The Supreme Court has ruled that individual plaintiff's cases can be tolled while a class determination is proceeding.

The Texas district court judge made his decision based on Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals precedent, where the court of appeals found there was no tolling for a later class filing, and only individual claims could be preserved.

The judge also found Odle's individual claim was barred by the statute of limitations because of an earlier Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in the Dukes litigation.

Attorneys for Odle claimed the Fifth Circuit precedent was "outdated" and that they would appeal the ruling.

Source: "Odle V. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.," United States District Court for the Northern District Of Texas, October 15, 2012

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