Pennsylvania Joins New York and New Jersey in Expanding Statutes of Limitations for Sex Abuse Claims

From the Desk of Anderson Kill Philadelphia

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PUBLISHED ON: December 9, 2019

On November 26, Pennsylvania followed New York and New Jersey in enacting legislation (House Bill 9621) extending the period in which victims of sex abuse and molestation can sue their aggressors — and the institutions that employed them. Commentators expect the statutory changes to result in victims filing thousands of lawsuits against institutions in the three states. Plaintiff law firms are actively advertising for and  soliciting plaintiffs. New York’s Child Victims Act extended the statute of limitations such that a plaintiff has until age 55 to bring a claim. Where a claim would have already been barred by the old statute of limitations, claimants now have a one-year window — beginning August 14, 2019 — to commence a suit. Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed, with more expected.

The New Jersey statute has two essential components. First, the statute of limitations for sex abuse was extended to age 55, or within seven years of realization of incurred harm by the victim. Second, victims whose claims were already time-barred now have a two-year window (beginning December 1, 2019) to bring suit. Hundreds of suits are expected in the immediate future....