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Posted on: May 17, 2019

Gov. Signs Sexual Abuse Suit Extension Bill

On Monday, Governor Murphy signed into law S-477, which extended the statute of limitations in civil actions for sexual abuse claims. The law creates a two-year window for parties to bring lawsuits based on sexual abuse that would be time-barred, even with the new statute of limitations, and expands the categories of potential defendants in civil actions.

The League is supportive of any measure that would allow survivors of sexual assault the ability to seek justice against individual perpetrators as well as those who knowingly and willfully enabled them. However, we raised concerns with language in the bill that creates a different standard of liability for municipalities and other government entities, than that which non-profit entities would be held to.

In a statement issued upon signing S-477, Gov. Murphy addressed these concerns stating that his signature was based on a commitment from the sponsors to introduce and swiftly pass legislation correcting this flaw. That same day, legislators introduced S-3739/A-5392 that seeks to rectify the flaw with S-477 concerning the standard of liability.

We are still reviewing S-3739/A-5392 to ensure that our concerns are addressed. We would like to thank Senators Joseph Vitale and Nicholas Scutari, and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, the sponsors of this legislation, for listening to the League’s concerns. We also commend these legislators for the efforts in this important matter.

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, fmarshall@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x137.


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