The statute of limitations is typically the biggest legal hurdle that victims must overcome to bring a lawsuit against their abuser or others responsible. As the current law stands, victims have until their 30th birthday to file a sexual abuse lawsuit. In the future, that restriction could change in Pennsylvania.
As of June 21, 2012, a bill was voted out of the Judiciary Committee and into the Rules Committee where it waits for a vote to possibly hit the House floor. This bill, if passed, would extend the statute of limitations for a victim to bring a civil case until their 50th birthday. In criminal cases, the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases would be completely eliminated.
One caveat to this possible new bill is that the bill is not retroactive, which means that if passed, the law will not take effect until 2024, when the first victims not affected by the current law turn 30. In the current bill, the Committee removed the two-year window, which would have opened the door for victims to bring claims that are currently barred by the statute of limitations. Although unfortunate, I am confident that this will not be the last we hear about a two-year window for Pennsylvania victims of sex abuse. A few years ago, Delaware passed a two-year window, which allowed numerous victims to get the compensation and justice they deserved.
Although this bill shows Pennsylvania seems to be moving in the right direction, as the current law stands, a victim only has until their 30th birthday to file a sexual abuse lawsuit. It is extremely important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys at Laffey, Bucci & Kent represent victims of crime and know how to help you receive the justice you deserve. Call us toll free at 1-800-220-7600 for a free, confidential initial consultation.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Published: July 23, 2012