What is the New York Adult Survivors Act?New York’s Adult Survivors Act was passed by the State Senate on June 3, 2021. The bill is currently before the State Assembly and the outlook for passage is promising.
When and if enacted the Adult Survivors Act will extend the short statute of limitations for survivors of adult sexual abuse who want to sue their sexual abusers. When passed into law the Adult Survivors Act will allow victims of adult sexual abuse one year to file a lawsuit. The one-year revival is similar to the Child Victims Act (which was extended for a second year due to COVID-19). Lawsuits filed under the Adult Survivors Act can be pursued against the person who committed the sexual assault as well as the person’s employer, when those facts apply.
Prior to Adult Survivors Act, victims who were at least 18 years old at the time of a sexual assault usually had only one year to file a lawsuit. If a person who was less than 18 years old was the victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault, then the Child Victims Act applies.
The Adult Survivors Act recognizes that New York’s current statutes of limitations for adult victims of sexual assault did not allow enough time for victims to pursue justice. Under the Adult Survivors Act, survivors will have one year from the date of passage to pursue a lawsuit against the person who committed the sexual assault and/or any institution.
NY Adult Survivors Act Eligible Crimes
Some of the categories of sexual assault charges that apply to the Adult Survivors Act include
The full list of crimes that apply to the Adult Survivors Act are:
- Sexual Misconduct, Penal Law Section 130.20
- Rape in the Third Degree, Penal Law Section 130.25
- Rape in the Second Degree, Penal Law Section 130.30
- Rape in the First Degree, Penal Law Section 130.35
- Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree, Penal Law Section 130.40
- Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree, Penal Law Section 130.45
- Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, Penal Law Section 130.50
- Forcible Touching, Penal Law Section 130.52
- Persistent Sexual Abuse, Penal Law Section 130.52
- Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree, Penal Law Section 130.55
- Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, Penal Law Section 130.60
- Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, Penal Law Section 130.65
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Fourth Degree, Penal Law Section 130.65-a
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree, Penal Law Section 130.66
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, Penal Law Section 130.67
- Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, Penal Law Section 130.70
- Female Genital Mutilation, Penal Law Section 130.85
- Facilitating a Sex Offense With a Controlled Substance, Penal Law Section 130.90
- Incest in the Second Degree, Penal Law Section 255.26
- Incest in the First Degree, Penal Law Section 255.27
Adult Survivors Act Lawsuits in New York
Lawsuits filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act involved allegations of a crime that is defined as a sexual offense against a person who was 18 years old or older. When passed into law, the Adult Survivors Act will be listed under CPLR 214-i:
Certain Sexual Offense Actions. Notwithstanding any provision of law which imposes a period of limitation to the contrary and the provisions of any other law pertaining to the filing of a notice of claim or a notice of intention to file a claim as a condition precedent to commencement of an action or special proceeding, every civil claim or cause of action brought against any party alleging intentional or negligent acts or omissions by a person for physical, psychological, or other injury or condition suffered as a result of conduct which would constitute a sexual offense as defined in article 130 of the Penal Law committed against such person who was 18 years of age or older, or Incest as defined in section 255.26 or 255.27 of the Penal Law committed against such person who was 18 years of age or older, which is barred as of the effective date of this section because the. applicable period of limitation has expired, and/or the plaintiff previously failed to file a notice of claim or a notice of intention to file a claim, is hereby revived, and action thereon may be commenced not earlier than six months after, and not later than one year and six months after the effective date of this section. In any such claim or action, dismissal of a previous action, ordered before the effective date of this section, on grounds that such previous action was time barred, and/or for failure of a party to file a notice of claim or a notice of intention to file a claim, shall not be grounds for dismissal of a revival action pursuant to this section.
Allegations in New York Adult Survivors Act Lawsuits
Two types of legal allegations apply to lawsuits filed under New York’s Adult Survivors Act: (1) intentional and (2) negligent. Typically, the intentional allegation in an Adult Survivors Act lawsuit will be the sexual assault crime that was committed against the survivor. While the lawsuit is civil rather than a criminal action, the pleading will state that the crime that was committed as the basis of the lawsuit, whether Rape, Sexual Abuse or Criminal Sexual Act, to name only a few.
An allegation of negligence is typically pleaded against the employer of the person who is sued. Unlike intentional acts, negligence is a failure to behave with the level of care that an ordinarily careful person would have exercised under the same circumstances. Acts of negligence may include an act or failure to act, called an omission. To demonstrate negligence in most cases, a Plaintiff is required to demonstrate that an employer knew or should have known that the person sued had a propensity to commit sexual assault to the extent that the sexual assault was anticipated or foreseeable.
Damages in Adult Survivors Act Lawsuits
Survivors of sexual assault are often diagnosed with serious and chronic injuries. The injuries most commonly involve diagnoses of depression, anxiety and/or post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Victims of sexual assault often require long-lasting therapy. The effects of sexual assault often impact a person’s ability to pursue a professional career, which impacts a person’s potential income. These damages are known compensatory and are made to repay a person for past or future money spent as well as losses due to the sexual assault.
New York’s Adult Survivor’s Act enables a person to seek damages for his or her injuries. In addition, a person who is a victim of sexual assault may be able to recover punitive damages to punish the heinous acts of those who commit sexual assault.
Hiring a New York Adult Survivors Act Lawyer
Hiring the right New York Adult Survivors Act lawyer is crucial in achieving the best possible outcome when a person has a claim for adult sexual abuse anywhere in New York State.
The best New York Adult Survivors Act and sexual abuse lawyer is experienced, aggressive and knowledgeable. As a former prosecutor in Manhattan, I have the experience and knowledge from prosecuting cases of sexual abuse in New York.
Speak With a NYC Adult Survivors Act Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one is has an Adult Survivors Act claim or case in New York, we’re here to help. Contacting an Adult Survivors Act lawyer early in your case is important to preserve the claim of sex abuse. A knowledgeable and aggressive Adult Survivors Act and sexual abuse lawyer should take immediate steps to ensure the success of a lawsuit on behalf of a victim or survivor of adult sex abuse.
Contact The Law Firm of Andrew M. Stengel
Contact us via the live chat below, through our contact form here, or call us at (212) 634-9222. Initial consultations are free and confidential, and you will speak with Andrew M. Stengel directly.
Our offices are located at 11 Broadway, Suite 715, New York, NY 10004, and we handle cases throughout New York City, Nassau, Westchester and the surrounding counties.