SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUIT WINDOW IS ABOUT TO CLOSE
On October 13, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom, signed into law Assembly Bill 218 (“AB 218”), a groundbreaking piece of legislation on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse. The new law expanded the time period for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to bring a civil lawsuit against the perpetrators of the abuse, or the institutions that turned a blind eye to it, from age 26 to age 40. Critically, however, AB 218 also included a three-year “lookback window” for previously time-barred claims to be brought. This means that anyone who was sexually abused as a child can bring a civil lawsuit in California no matter how old they are now. However, that three-year window expires very shortly, on December 31, 2022. After that, with limited exceptions, anyone over 40 will be time-barred from bringing a claim.
Moreover, there are a number of strategic benefits to bringing your case forward sooner rather than later, even if you are a survivor who is under 40 years old.
It has been reported that as many as 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys were sexually abused as a child. Yet many survivors in California do not know that they may still bring a civil claim, or critically, that the window to do so is expiring in just a few months.