State Bill Would Temporarily Lift Limits on Abuse Suits

The New York State Catholic Conference has mounted a statewide campaign to educate voters about a bill that would temporarily waive the states civil statute of limitations on suing individuals and private institutions over child sexual abuse. The Child Victims Act of New York—also known as the Markey bill—would also lengthen the period in which alleged victims may sue individuals and private organizations for child sexual abuse in the future. Sponsors of the proposed legislation in the state Assembly and Senate claim it will bring justice to victims of child sex abuse, but the Catholic conference, which represents the states bishops in matters of public policy, said the proposal unfairly targets the Catholic Church and other private institutions. New Yorks current statute of limitations requires alleged victims of child sex abuse to file civil lawsuits by the time they are 23. But separate statutes for claims against public entities—such as municipalities, public schools, public hospitals and government-run institutions—require the alleged victims in cases of any nature to file statements of their intent to sue, called notices of claim, within 90 days of the incident.

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