First Baptist Church of Citronelle v. Citronelle-Mobile Gathering, Inc
In First Baptist Church of Citronelle v. Citronelle-Mobile Gathering, Inc., 409 So. 2d 727, 728 (Ala. 1981), the court held that, "when the interests of putative class members may not be adequately protected by the class representative or by the judiciary, the statute of limitations is tolled from the date of commencement of the action until the date of denial of class certification."
The Alabama court was persuaded by American Pipe, noting that "Rule 23 of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure is identical to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure." Id. at 729.
"The principal function of the class action - to avoid multiplicity in filing suits, motions and papers - will be defeated if the statute of limitations is not tolled in favor of the plaintiffs. A putative class member could protect his or her interests only by filing an individual action or intervening before the statute of limitations runs. Filing of individual actions in such a case as the case before the Court is precisely what Rule 23 was designed to avoid." Id.