Adult Survivors Act

The Adult Survivors Act is legislation recently passed in New York State, which allows survivors of sexual violence to pursue civil action against the person who committed a sexual offense against them or the entity that enabled such to occur. 

The Adult Survivors Act applies only to those 18 or older at the time of the sexual offense. So, individuals will now be permitted to file a civil lawsuit against their abusers, employers, or the institutions associated with the abuser for enabling such violence, even if the statute of limitations on those claims has already expired. With this Act, any individual, company, or institution can be sued for any sexual offense committed against an adult, regardless of when the crime occurred.

Like with the Child Victims Act, in which HoganWillig was a prominent law firm fighting for its clients, the Adult Survivors Act creates a one-year lookback period for survivors to file claims. So, from November 24, 2022, to November 24, 2023, the lookback period allows survivors to file a civil lawsuit which was not permitted by existing statutes of limitations. In 2019, New York State extended the statute of limitations to 20 years for adults filing civil lawsuits for certain sex offenses however that legislation only affected new cases and was not retroactive. 

Trauma is not just a single or specific event that takes place. These experiences have lasting effects on the mind, brain, and body. So, the Adult Survivors Act acknowledges that many survivors need time to process and heal before dealing with the trauma and holding their abusers accountable.   

If you’re a sexual assault survivor in New York whose claim was previously time-barred, you have an opportunity to file a claim against the parties responsible for the incident. While financial compensation might not erase your pain and trauma, it can help make you feel whole again. You may be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, mental trauma, expensive trips to your doctor, or any other expense incurred due to the sexual assault incident.

If you or someone you know is a sexual assault or abuse survivor, please consider knowledgeable & compassionate legal counsel for representation. Contact HoganWillig for a free case evaluation to explore your options. Remember, the Adult Survivors Act only provides a one-year “lookback window.” Contact us today—Call 716-636-7600 to speak about your case with attorneys on our Adult Survivors Act Team.