MassKids Press Release: Statute of Limitations Bill Passes MA House and Senate

24 Jun 2014 1:18 PM | Adrienne Hoffman-Lewis (Administrator)

From the MassKids June 19, 2014 Press Release:

Any child 18 or younger who is abused after the law goes into effect will now have up to the age of 53 to file civil charges against their alleged abuser and/or against a supervisor and/or the employer of that supervisor.  Previously a victim only had up to 3 years past their 18th birthday to file civil charges or until 3 years after they came to understand the harm caused by the abuse. Under the new law, that limited “discovery period” is extended to 7 years. Also, the previous requirement that a survivor give a two-year notice of intent to file charges under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act has been eliminated, but only for claims of sexual abuse.

A significant feature of the proposed new law is its retroactivity for survivors. This means that anyone who was sexually abused in the past and who was time-barred under the old law from filing civil charges against their alleged abuser will now have until the age of 53 to do so.  

The new law, however, would not be retroactive for institutions and their supervisors.  This means that survivors who believe their past abuse was due to the actions or inactions of an organization and/or a supervisor of that organization, may not file civil charges if they were time-barred under the old law.  Only abuse by institutions and supervisors that occurs after the new law goes into effect would be subject to the age 53 provision.  

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