Queens School Sexual Abuse Attorneys
No parent should have to fear that they may enroll their child in a school with staff that may sexually abuse their child. However, the passing of the Child Victim Act in New York has alerted residents of the prevalence of sexual abuse as hundreds of abuse cases are filed in New York courts. Fortunately, the Child Victim Act provides survivors of sexual abuse with an avenue to fight back against their abusers. If you or a family member was sexually abused at school, consult with an experienced Queens school sexual abuse attorney.
At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, we know the stress and trauma associated with facing your abuser, and we are here to stand with you. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP at (718) 843-0300, or contact us online.
New York Child Victim Act
Amid rampant allegations of sexual abuse against the Catholic diocese in New York and other institutions within the state, New York passed the Child Victims Act (CVA) on February 14, 2019. The CVA dramatically extends the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits. The statute of limitations dictates the length of time that a plaintiff has to file their case with the court. Failure to file a claim before the end of the deadline would result in a plaintiff being unable to file their claim with a court.
The CVA increases the statute of limitations until a victim has reached the age of 55. Before the CVA, victims of sexual abuse only had one to five years to file a lawsuit against their abuser. The reasoning behind the decision to lengthen the statute of limitations is that victims of sexual abuse often have internal struggles with reporting their abuser and revealing to their family and friends that they were abused.
As a result, a victim may go years without speaking about their abuse, which allows the abuser to avoid justice. However, the extension of the statute of limitations allows abusers to be held accountable for their terrible actions long after they were committed.
Additionally, if a sexual abuse claim exceeded the statute of limitations prior to the CVA being passed, the CVA has allowed a limited one-year extension for victims to file their case. The one-year extension began to run on August 14, 2019, six months after the CVA was passed.
If you believe that your Queens sexual abuse case was previously barred by the statute of limitations, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Our firm can evaluate the status of your case and determine the appropriate way to proceed.
Suing for Sexual Abuse in Schools in Queens, NY
Under the CVA, a survivor of school sexual abuse in Queens does not have to limit their lawsuit solely to their sexual abuser; cases can also be filed against an institution that protected an abuser. Additionally, the CVA has changed the procedure for filing lawsuits against public institutions. Prior to the CVA, victims of sexual abuse would have to issue notice before they could file a lawsuit against a public institution that may have protected a sexual abuser. Now, a plaintiff could file a claim against a public institution without needing to issue a notice of their claim.
The CVA has made it easier to file cases against a sexual abuser and the institution that protected them, whether it was a public or private institution. For example, if a member of the faculty at a school used their position to abuse children, the institution that employed them could be held liable if they were aware of allegations of abuse and took no action. This is referred to as vicarious liability. It occurs when an employee commits an illegal or negligent act within the scope of their employment.
The ability to sue an institution is especially valuable to a survivor of sexual abuse because their abuser may be difficult to locate or could be deceased. Additionally, the institution that failed to protect the children in their care would likely be in a better position to compensate a survivor for the trauma and pain they experienced.
Whether you were abused by a staff member at a school or a religious institution, our firm is here to help you through this difficult time.
Work with an Experienced Queens School Sexual Abuse Lawyer You Can Trust
If you or a family member is a survivor of sexual abuse, contact an experienced Queens school sexual abuse lawyer. The legal team at Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, possess over three decades of legal experience, and we have a commitment to fighting for survivors of sexual abuse. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your potential claim, contact Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP at (718) 843-0300.