Child Victims Act New York Lawyer / New York Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer

New York Child Victims Act / Sexual Abuse and Child Victims Act Lawyer

New York’s Child Victims Act was signed into law on February 14, 2019. Lawsuits filed under CPLR 214-a, New York Child Victims Act, involve allegations of a crime that is defined as a Sexual Offense against a child who was less than 18 years old. Claims under New York’s Child Victims Act can be pursued against the sexual abuser as well as his/her employer, such as a school, religious institution or foster care agency. The Child Victims Act extends what was a brief statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse who want to sue their sexual abusers.
Today, that means there is far more time for a survivor of childhood sexual abuse to file a lawsuit for money damages.

Before New York’s Child Victims Act was signed into law, victims of childhood sexual abuse that occurred before he or she was 18 years old had only 5 years to bring a lawsuit after the sexual abuse victim reached 18 years old. The Child Victims Act recognizes that a victim of childhood sexual abuse may not come to terms emotionally or otherwise for many years, if not decades, after turning 18 years old. Under the New York’s Child Victims Act, survivors of childhood abuse can file a lawsuit up to the age of 55 against a person and a private or public institution that may have also been involved in the abuse through negligence.

Different groups of potential defendants may be sued under CPLR 214-a, the Child Victims Act, under the broad categories of intentional and negligent acts. Abusers, whether a member of the clergy, a teacher, family members, foster parent or any other person, may be sued for their intentional acts. The abusers took action with the desire or purpose to, for example, non-consensually touch or penetrate another person. In addition, parties that had a duty to protect the abused person when the abuse occurred may be liable under the Child Victims Act due to their negligence. For example, if a child was abused while under the care of a school, church, or foster care agency, for example, that entity may be liable under the Child Victims Act if the abuse occurred because the entity was not as careful as an ordinary school, church, or foster care agency in carrying out its duty to protect a child.

The Child Victims Act allows plaintiffs to seek damages, or monetary compensation, for all of these injuries. Because we cannot turn back the hands of time to prevent the abuse from happening, the best version of justice that civil courts can deliver is money damages. Victims of childhood sexual abuse may be entitled to monetary compensation for their psychological pain, for the cost of consequential treatment, and for any resulting loss of income.

The Child Victims Act also allows for punitive damages above and beyond the compensatory damages discussed above. Sexual abuse of a child is deeply harmful behavior. For this reason, the Child Victims Act allows a jury to punish an abuser by awarding a plaintiff additional monetary damages in the form of punitive damages. These damages will not typically be awarded against defendants who engaged in negligent conduct but may be appropriate where the negligence was truly extreme.

To learn more about the Child Victims Act in New York, please visit:

As a former Assistant District Attorney in New York City, Andrew has a unique prospective from prosecuting cases of sexual abuse. Andrew M. Stengel is a zealous advocate for sex abuse victims and survivors who sue under New York’s Child Victims Act. Visit our website here:​, email us at, or call us at (212) 634-9222 for a free, confidential consultation.

The Law Firm of Andrew M. Stengel: 11 Broadway, Suite 615 New York, NY 10004

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