Filing a Lawsuit under the Childs Victims Act 


A new bill to raise the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases, called the Child Victims Act, passed the New York legislature Assembly on Monday, January 28th, 2019. The governor’s office has publicly stated that the Governor will sign this bill as soon as possible.

It was actually Governor Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State Address where he listed this plan to open the window for lawsuits by child sex abuse victims.  The new legislation raises the age at which victims can bring civil and criminal charges 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 entities who were responsible for the oversight or who employed their abuser. 

What is the Child Victims Act?

The Child Victims Act allows all abuse survivors, regardless of their current age, to file a civil claim within one year of when the law becomes effective. The newly passed bill allows victims of child sex abuse the option to file a civil lawsuit against the offender up until their 55th birthday. Previously, child sex abuse victims could only file until their 23rd birthday.

Who Can File for the Child Victims Act? 

This means that victims of child sex abuse - who have previously passed their statute of limitations or failed to file a lawsuit in time - now have a one-year window to file a lawsuit. A common misunderstanding is that only people under the age of 55 years old can file. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Anyone of any age can file a lawsuit against their alleged abusers no matter when the alleged incident took place – but must file before July 24th, 2020.

Who Qualifies to File a Lawsuit?

Anyone, of any age, in the state of New York, can file for a lawsuit under the Child Victims Act as long as:

  1. The ‘incident’ occurred when the victim was under the age of 18
  2. The victim has physical or psychological injuries or conditions as a result of the abuse
  3. They file their lawsuit before July 24th, 2020

Douglas & London - Fighting for Victims

Douglas & London law firm has a history of fighting for victims of other forms of sexual abuse. The Child Victims Act gives an opportunity for those who have been violated as children to seek justice but it also comes with a hard deadline. If you were a victim of sexual abuse as a child and now suffer from a psychological or physical injury or ‘condition’ as a result, please contact us on our website or call us at (212) 566-7500. You can speak to us for free, there is no upfront cost and you don’t pay unless we help you secure compensation.

Note: Whether or not you know somebody who was a victim of child abuse in the state of New York, please help spread the word. There is a hard deadline and victims deserve justice. 

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-- The Team at Douglas & London

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