A recent law passed in New York State has created new opportunities for sexual abuse survivors to have their day in civil court. The Child Victims Act, signed into law on February 14, 2019, gives potential plaintiffs an additional year to file a civil lawsuit against perpetrators, no matter how long ago the abuse happened. This is making it possible for individuals who were sexually abused while participating in the Boy Scouts of America to seek justice in a class-action civil suit.
The law is intended to give sexual abuse survivors additional time to come forward since fear and shame can prevent them from taking civil action against their abusers until years later. By then, the statute of limitations has often run out. Also under the law, child sex abuse victims have until their 55th birthday to file a civil suit. Previously, they had until age 23 to take legal action. The legislation also extends the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution for some child sex crimes– to 28 years for certain felony charges and 25 years for certain misdemeanors.
The Child Victims Act allows plaintiffs who might not otherwise be able to seek legal recourse see their abusers brought to justice. The legislation permits survivors to sue individuals and institutions that committed abuse or knowingly allowed it to continue. One organization that’s been swept into the fray of a class-action lawsuit is the Boy Scouts of America, which is facing hundreds of credible allegations of sexual abuse of young boys. Given the severity of the allegations, it’s not surprising that many of the survivors have been afraid to report the abuse to law enforcement until years or decades later.
A group called Abused in Scouting brings survivors together for solidarity, and to fight the epidemic of abuse in the Boy Scouts of America. According to the Washington Post, the Boy Scouts of America kept files of hundreds of names of people considered “ineligible volunteers” for their history of pedophilia. However, the group Abused in Scouting reports to have discovered numerous more names of predators that were not documented in these “ineligible volunteers” files. One of the undocumented individuals reportedly includes a man who abused an anonymous plaintiff. According to the Washington Post, the plaintiff reports being assaulted “hundreds” of times during his time in the Boy Scouts in the 1970s.
Plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit claim that the sexual abuse was a result of negligence on the part of the Boy Scouts, that the Boy Scouts “conspired” to keep the abuse a secret, and that the Boy Scouts’ failure to protect scouts from sexual predators was “reckless misconduct.” Fortunately, these victims can now pursue justice through a class-action civil suit.
When people have been harmed by someone else’s negligent or abusive behavior, the impact of what they’ve been through may leave them unable to work or carry out daily activities. Meanwhile, expenses keep piling up. Lawsuit cash can help plaintiffs cover living expenses and other necessities while they wait for their class-action lawsuits to make their way through the courts. Without lawsuit funding, they might settle for less than they deserve. Pre-settlement funding, or legal funding, is nonrecourse funding. You only have to pay it back if you’re awarded damages. To learn more about pre-settlement funding, contact us at LawCash, or apply today.