What is the Child Victims Act?

The New York State Legislature passed a bill on January 28, 2019, which Governor Cuomo signed on Feb. 14, 2019, that will increase the statute of limitations for cases of child sexual abuse. The Child Victims Act will allow child victims to seek prosecution against their abuser until the age of 55 in civil cases, a significant increase from the previous age of 23. For criminal cases, victims can seek prosecution until they turn 28. The bill also includes a one-year window during which victims of any age or time limit can come forward to prosecute.

What are Statutes of Limitations?

Statutes of limitations are laws that specify how much time a person has to file a lawsuit against a company or an individual. Once this period of time or “statutory deadline” has passed, it is no longer possible to file a claim or case related to the incident or event.

When does the one-year window begin for victims of any age to come forward to prosecute?

The Child Victims Act provides for a one-year window during which victims of any age whose claims had previously expired can come forward to file suit. However, those victims will not be able to commence their lawsuits until six months after the bill becomes law. For people who were abused as children but did not bring claims before age 23, those victims may file a lawsuit starting on Aug. 14, 2019, but only have one year to do so.

Has the bill been signed into law?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on Feb. 14, 2019.

Why should I contact Hagens Berman?

Hagens Berman is an award-winning international team of attorneys. In our years of practice, Hagens Berman has earned a reputation as one of the most feared plaintiffs firms in the nation, willing to go above and beyond in the fight for victims’ rights. Our determination and expert skill are unmatched in the plaintiffs’ bar, and our opponents know our name well.

Hagens Berman's attorneys recently achieved a nationwide sexual harassment settlement on behalf of 16,000 women, tried the first ever sexual harassment case in Washington state, and has represented women violated by Harvey Weinstein, as well as USC alumnae abused by the university's former gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall. Our firm is committed to protecting and empowering individuals.

More about the law firm and its successes can be found at hbsslaw.com

What are your fees?

Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning the victims we represent pay nothing at all unless we win.

If I’m a child victim of sexual abuse who can I contact to find out next steps?

You may email our legal team directly using [email protected] or call 1-888-381-2889 and ask to speak with attorney Shelby Smith.