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Advocates call for extended filing window under New York’s Adult Survivors Act

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Adult Survivors Act (ASA), signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in November 2022, has been a significant development for sexual assault victims in New York.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The law introduced a one-year “lookback window,” allowing victims to file civil claims regardless of when the crime occurred. This period, however, ended on November 23, and advocates are now calling for an extension or reopening of the time to file cases.

As the deadline passed, the law saw a substantial response, with 2,065 lawsuits filed in the civil supreme court and 1,696 in the court of claims.

High-profile individuals, including Mayor Eric Adams, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, and actor Bill Cosby, are among those facing separate lawsuits under the ASA. The law temporarily suspended New York’s statute of limitations, enabling victims of sexual assault or abuse over the age of 18 to seek damages in civil court.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Advocates, including Democrat Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, are now pushing for the reopening of the filing window or even the abolition of the statute of limitations for sex abuse cases.

The Adult Survivors Act follows the Child Victims Act, which enabled victims abused under the age of 18 to file suits and led to over 10,000 cases, significantly impacting institutions like the Catholic Church. Lawmakers are expected to discuss further actions when they return to Albany for the legislative session starting January 1.