February 27, 2019 – The New York State Legislature in Nov. 2018 passed a bill — known as the Child Victims Act — which permits victims of childhood sexual abuse until the age of 55 to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser(s), a significant increase from the previous age limit of 23.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been the victim of any form of sexual abuse, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the problem?
In addition to the changes made in regards to civil cases, the Child Victims Act extends the statute of limitations (SOL) for victims in criminal cases of sexual abuse to file charges until the age of 28, according to The New York Times. The bill also includes a one-year window during which victims of any age or time limit can come forward to prosecute.
Prior to the passage of the Child Victims Act, victims of childhood sexual abuse in New York had been pushing lawmakers for over a decade to increase their ability to seek justice, only to be denied by powerful lobbies such as insurance companies, private schools, and the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, the act remained stalled for 13 years.
Then the democrats won control of the Senate in November 2018. The Senate and Assembly overwhelmingly approved the act in January, with every senator — both Republican and Democrat — voting in favor, 130-3.
The bill greatly extends New York’s SOL for childhood sex abuse, which had previously required that criminal or civil charges be filed before the victim’s 23rd birthday. Prior to the passage of the act, New York had the third most restrictive laws in the entire U.S., behind Mississippi and Alabama.
Many other states allow such claims claims to be brought decades after the alleged abuse, and 9 states have no statutes of limitations at all.
Per the new law, prosecutors may bring criminal charges until a victim turns 28, and victims can sue until age 55. The bill also creates a year-long “look-back window,” during which old claims that had already passed the SOL may be revived.
Can I File a Class Action?
Although Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is a nationally recognized class action firm, we have decided against this type of litigation when it comes to New York Sexual Abuse Lawsuits. Our lawyers feel that if there is a successful resolution to these cases, individual suits, not class actions will be the best way to get maximum payouts to our clients. If you’ve been the victim of sexual abuse in New York, we know you’ve suffered emotionally and economically, and want to work with you personally to obtain the maximum compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
Do I have a New York Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
The Sexual Abuse Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in New York sexual abuse lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one has been the victim of any form of sexual abuse, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.