A legislative effort to create a retroactive window during which childhood sexual abuse victims could file civil claims against alleged perpetrators and enablers, even if Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations has expired, is further along than it has ever been.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has staunchly backed House Bill 951 and urged that state legislators pass it however possible. With his support and interest from both sides of the political aisle, it seems like HB 951 should be passed soon, despite a rocky road along the way. If so, Pennsylvania will become a prominent state for sex abuse lawsuits on behalf of child sex abuse survivors.
HB 951 is designed to empower child sex abuse survivors who were previously hesitant or prevented from speaking up and seeking legal action against their abusers. If the bill passes, it will create a two-year lookback window to report new claims that otherwise would have been immediately defeated by the state’s current statute of limitations. Democratic Representative Mark Rozzi, who is the prime sponsor of HB 951, has argued that it is the only way to get justice for countless child sex abuse survivors in the state.
If the bill passes, it is expected that a new wave of civil lawsuits against abusers would occur, so sex abuse attorneys like those at Levy Konigsberg are already preparing for it. Not only would those cases be filed against individual sex abusers, but, perhaps more importantly, many of them would likely target the institutions that harbored, enabled, or encouraged them. In recent years, public outrage has been ignited as reports of sex abuse against the Boy Scouts of America, Catholic dioceses, gynecologists, and others in positions of authority have poured in near constantly. HB 951 would ensure that such groups and professionals could no longer dodge justice if the lawsuits against them have the legal grounds to be filed and litigated in Pennsylvania.
The last action from the Pennsylvania Senate was to suspend considerations for House Bill 951 or to “lay it on the table” as it is often denoted in Congress. As such, the bill is not defeated but will require further review and support, like that of Governor Tom Wolf. For more information about Pennsylvania House Bill 951, you can click here to view the bill’s details on the official Pennsylvania State Assembly website.
If you think you have a sex abuse lawsuit to file, either now or when the two-year lookback window opens in Pennsylvania, contact Levy Konigsberg online now. Our firm helps clients nationwide with highly sensitive and controversial sex abuse lawsuits against powerful defendants like universities, medical institutions, religious associations, and much more. We have recovered more than $3 billion in damages for our clients, so you know that you can trust your case with us. Call (800) 315-3806 for more information or to arrange a free case consultation.