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Child Victims Act Extends Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sex Abuse Survivors

The Child Victims Act, which is a bill that will extend the statute of limitations to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice against their abuser, is expected to pass both houses of New York State’s legislature on Monday.

Final details on all the provisions within the Child Victims Act will be available sometime after the state legislature’s vote. However, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement had been reached on the bill, Maryalice Demler of WGRZ Channel 2 interviewed attorney Barry Covert to discuss specific components that will be included in the Child Victims Act. Click the video below to watch the the full interview.  Some of components discussed include:

Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sex Abuse Victims

Under the current statute of limitations in New York State, individuals who were the victim of a sex crime as a child only have until the age of 23 to pursue criminal charges or a civil claim against their abuser. When the Child Victims Act is signed in to law, survivors of childhood sexual abuse will have until the age of 28 to file criminal charges against their abuser and until the age of 55 to pursue a civil lawsuit.

One Year Look-Back Window for Survivors Past the Statute of Limitations

With the passage of the Child Victims Act, New York will become the 49th state in the country to extend the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse. The Child Victims Act will include a one year “look-back window”, which will allow victims of any age to pursue a civil lawsuit against their abuser. This provision will give victims, including those who are beyond the ages stated in the statute of limitations, a one-year window to seek justice against their abuser.

Settlement Obtained for Pedestrian Struck by Distracted Driver

Michael P. Stuermer, a Partner at the law firm of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, recently obtained an $825,000 settlement on behalf of a pedestrian who was injured as the result of being struck by the vehicle of a distracted driver.

The following provides an overview of distracted driving, details on the accident and injuries in this case, information on the result obtained for the injured pedestrian, and who to contact for a free case review if you suspect you have been the victim of an injury caused by a distracted driver.

Distracted Driving Epidemic

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes distracted driving simply as any activity that diverts attention from driving. Such activities commonly include texting on a phone, eating & drinking, talking to passengers in the car, and adjusting a car’s entertainment or navigation system.

According to a recent NHTSA report, in 2015, 391,000 individuals from across the United States suffered some form of injury from a motor vehicle accident that involved distracted driving. An additional 3,477 were killed in distracted driving crashes.

Pedestrians Impacted by Distracted Driving

The consequences of distracted driving go beyond the drivers and passengers of vehicles. In 2016, 562 non-occupants such as walkers, bicyclists, and other pedestrians, were killed in distracted driving related accidents.

New York State Releases Draft of Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy and Training Requirements

New York State’s 2019 Budget, which was signed in to law this past April, includes legislation that requires every employer in New York State, within both the private sector and public sector, to establish a sexual harassment prevention policy and to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training.

Click here to download a printer friendly PDF of this Special Alert.

As detailed in our previous Special Alert, New York State’s Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights have issued a model sexual harassment prevention policy and model training program. Once finalized, those models will establish a minimum standard for all employers in New York State to follow or incorporate in to their own policy and training program.

While the Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights have not yet issued final requirements, employers can use the models to begin to prepare to comply with the sexual harassment prevention policy and training legislation.