On the opening day of New York’s new statute of limitations on sexual abuse lawsuits, over 400 survivors of child sex abuse filed claims against their abusers and institutions that allegedly hid cases of sexual abuse. On August 14, New York courts received at least 427 lawsuits filed by citizens who were sexually abused as minors in the state of New York.
Most lawsuits were filed against the Catholic Church, but other claims called out the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), hospitals and schools, and other organizations as liable for the actions of sexual predators within their domains.
These claims would have been ineligible to be filed as civil suits by previous New York statute of limitations. The former statute of limitations dictated claims for child sex abuse to be filed by the victim’s 18th birthday. However, after a series of Catholic Church sex abuse scandals indicated the Church hid the names of sexual predators for decades, state legislature extended the time for New York sexual abuse victims to file claims. Expecting a large number of child sex abuse lawsuits, the state of New York has delegated a group of 45 judges to handle these specific cases.
New York Child Victims Act
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act into law earlier this year, extending the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits in New York until 55 years of age. The Child Victims Act also allows criminal charges to be brought against an alleged sexual predator until the victim is 28 years old.
“The Child Victims Act says if you were sexually abused as a child, you have a right to justice and to make your case,” said Governor Cuomo in a press release announcing the opening of the Child Victims Act’s one-year window on August 14. “Children have legal rights, and if you abuse a child, you’re going to have your day in court and you’re going to be called to answer for it.”
In addition to the new age limits, the Child Victims Act opens a one-year “lookback window” that allows victims whose claims were previously barred by New York statute of limitations to file a claim against their abuser. Starting August 14, those previously denied legal action against their abuser due to expired statute of limitations have 365 days to file a sex abuse claim. Survivors can file a claim regardless of their current age or when the abuse happened.
Survivors of New York Sex Abuse: Act Now!
The clock is ticking for sexual abuse survivors in New York as the one-year “lookback window” has now opened. We understand that filing a civil suit against your abuser cannot reverse the horrible crimes of the past. However, many sex abuse survivors have reached justice and healing by holding their abuser accountable in court and receiving civil damages to help in their ongoing physical and emotional treatment. We want to be your advocate during this difficult time and fight for your peace of mind. Our experienced sex abuse lawyers aggressively pursue compensation to help in your journey towards healing, and we remove any hassle on your side so you can focus on your personal recovery. Contact AVA Law Group today for a free, confidential case consultation to learn if you are eligible to file a civil suit against your abuser.