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NY State Legislature Passes Adult Survivors Act

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

The NY State Assembly has passed the Adult Survivors Act which was previously approved by the NY Senate.  It now heads for the Governor’s desk and she has stated her intention to sign the legislation allowing adult victims of sexual abuse to sue their abusers and the institutions that protected them in court.

What Comes Next?

Beginning six months after the Governor signs the bill, this legislation creates a one-year window for the revival of time-barred civil lawsuits based on sex crimes committed against individuals who were 18 years of age or older when the crime occurred.

The Child Victims Act, enacted in 2019, reopened claims for victims under eighteen at the time of the crime. Adult victims were not given the same opportunity, and this legislation reopens the claims of adult victims who were previously barred from the courts.

The measure suspends the statute of limitations for adult survivors, who often don’t come to terms with or come forward to talk about their sexual abuse within the legal time frame established to file lawsuits.

It provides a one-year look-back window, which will take effect six months after Hochul signs the bill into law, so survivors can sue their alleged abusers or institutions that may have protected them, including churches schools and businesses.

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