Flurry of lawsuits emerge as NY opens door to sex abuse claims

Posted: Updated:

Thousands of people who say they were molested as children in New York state plan to file lawsuits this week against their alleged abusers and the institutions where they worked.

As of midnight, victims could officially begin filing under the Child Victims Act. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law back in February. The new law allows a person of any age, who claims they were sexually abused as a child one year to file a civil lawsuit against their alleged abuser and the organization that enabled the abuse to occur.

Previously, victims had been barred by the state's statute of limitations, which were among the nation's tightest.

The Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, public schools, hospitals and some within the Hasidic community are among the many institutions expected to be named as defendants in the suits.

Attorneys who spoke with News 12 estimate every diocese in New York state could face legal damages reaching hundreds of millions of dollars and may opt for bankruptcy.

Legal experts advise anyone who wants to file a civil suit should first talk with an experienced child sex abuse attorney.

AP wire services contributed to this report.

 

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