New York Enacts Child Victims Act

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New York Enacts Law Reviving And Extending Time Period For Victims of Child Sexual Abuse To Bring Claims Against Individual Perpetrators and Associated Institutions.

Recognizing that victims of the heinous crime and trauma of child sexual abuse typically require many more years than previously allotted by governing law to come forward and seek justice against those responsible for their suffering, the New York State Legislature has recently enacted the Child Victims Act, which was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on February 14, 2019.  Under this new law, previously time-barred claims of victims of child sexual abuse have been revived, and they may now sue for damages up until they reach the age of 55 years.  For those victims of child sexual abuse who are already past the age of 55, the statute provides them a one time, one year grace period, from on or about August 14, 2019 through August 14, 2020 to commence litigation.

Another feature of this new law revives damage claims that had previously been dismissed by a court on the basis of the prior statute of limitations.  In other words, if one had previously sued for relief, but the claims were dismissed as having been brought too late, the Child Victims Act revives those previously dismissed claims, and allows such person to sue again.  In addition, the new law gives a trial priority to lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse over other types of litigations.  Finally, the new law gives victims until their 28th birthday to seek felony criminal charges, and until their 25th birthday to seek misdemeanor criminal charges.

If you or a friend or loved one were a victim of child sexual abuse (i.e. abuse that occurred in New York prior to the victim reaching the age of 18), it is important to exercise all rights and options under the new law promptly, particularly if you or they are now over the age of 55.  Such claims may not only be brought against the perpetrator, but may also be brought against any party whose intentional or negligent acts or omissions are alleged to have resulted in the commission of the abuse, including private, public and religious institutions.

Combined with compassion, keen legal knowledge and many decades of litigation experience, the attorneys at Hamburger, Maxson, Yaffe & McNally, LLP have successfully represented numerous victims of child sexual abuse in processing their claims against the Diocese of Rockville Centre and the Diocese of Brooklyn in connection with an Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program previously established for survivors of child sexual abuse by Diocese clergy.  We have the right team necessary to enable our clients to understand their rights, to assist them in telling their stories (often for the first time), all while vigorously prosecuting claims on their behalf.  It is our ultimate goal in these delicate matters, above all, to hopefully assist our clients in not only achieving monetary recovery, but in getting on the path to emotional healing.

Individuals who wish to consider filing a claim for monetary relief are well advised to consult with a knowledgeable attorney.  Any individual victim who would like to discuss the Child Victims Act further and consider retaining our law firm to assist and represent them should promptly schedule a free consultation with David N. Yaffe, Esq. at our office.  Please call us at 631.694.2400 to schedule.

This newsletter is provided by Hamburger, Maxson, Yaffe & McNally LLP to keep its clients, prospective clients, and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them, and to learn more about our firm, our services and the experiences of our attorneys. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such

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