By recently passing the Child Victims Act, New York has joined the trend in extending the statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse cases. In many jurisdictions, including several New England states, victims can now bring lawsuits against institutions well into their adult years – even if those suits were previously time-barred.
In Massachusetts, under M.G.L. c. 260 § 4C, tort actions alleging that an individual sexually abused a minor must be “commenced within 35 years of the acts alleged to have caused an injury or condition or within 7 years of the time the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered that an emotional or psychological injury or condition was caused by said act, whichever period expires later.” M.G.L. c. 260 § 4C. Importantly, the statute of limitations for such actions is tolled “until the child reaches eighteen years of age.” M.G.L. c. 260 § 4C. Thus, in Massachusetts, prospective plaintiffs alleging childhood sexual abuse have a substantial period of time to commence an action.
If your New England organization or school has received notice of a claim by a past victim of childhood sexual abuse, we can help.