New York Legislature Passes Child Victims Act: Opening Window for Child Abuse Lawsuits

New York Legislature Passes Child Victims ActNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo is off to an aggressive start in 2019, revealing an ambitious agenda in his recent State of the State Address. Among the list of initiatives and objectives he intends to accomplish in his new term are plans to open the window for lawsuits by child sex abuse victims.

A bill to raise the statute of limitations in cases of child sex abuse, called the Child Victims Act, passed the New York legislature Assembly on Monday, January 28th. The legislation raises the age at which victims can bring both civil and criminal cases against their alleged abusers. It also creates a one-year period for individuals who were the victims of child sex abuse and whose statute of limitations has already expired to file a civil claim against their abuser and/or the entities who were responsible for the oversight or who employed their abuser.

From a press release issued last week, Governor Cuomo notes that for too long, society has failed these survivors of abuse and their traumas at the hands of authority figures have only been compounded by a justice system that denied them their day in court. He further noted that the time is to end this heinous injustice and give these victims their day in court.

Details of the Child Victims Act

Foster Care Abuse - New York Child victim ActThe law itself has not changed. The bill removes the need to file a notice of claim or notice of intention to file a claim against a municipal, city or state agency in all sexual abuse/assault cases that occurred when that person was under the age of 18.

The law will allow all expired claims to be filed after 6 months the date the statute becomes effective and for the period of one year thereafter. Thus, any individual who was the victim of sexual abuse or assault when they were younger than 18 will have a period of 1 year and 6 months to resurrect their otherwise expired claim.

The statute also amends the age of the victim in which the time period begins to run.  In this respect, the statute of limitations in all sexual abuse/ assault will begin to run at the age of 55, instead of 18. However, this aspect of the statute may only be effective for injuries/abuse that occurs after the effective date of the statute.

NYC Child Sex Abuse Attorney

If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Although no amount of money will undo the harm caused, it can bring a sense of justice and closure for victims. For more information or to consult with an experienced NYC child sex abuse attorney, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-646-798-1535.


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