New York, N.Y. (May 24, 2022) - As an update to our previous alert regarding New York's Adult Survivor Act (ASA), on May 23, 2022, the New York State Assembly approved the ASA with a majority vote of 140 to 3. On May 24, 2022, Governor Hochul officially signed the bill into law. The ASA permits plaintiffs one year to file civil claims based on sexual abuse or assault, regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred.
The one-year lookback window for ASA claims will open on November 24, 2022 and close on November 24, 2023. However, we anticipate the lookback window may officially run from November 28, 2022 through November 28, 2023 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. (See New York General Construction Law section 25-a, which extends deadlines that fall on a holiday or weekend to the next business day).
Clients should brace themselves for potential high exposure to liability in certain cases. Based on current news and media coverage, we are seeing potential claims unfold in various professions. For example, the wife of a former presidential candidate alleges her gynecologist sexually assaulted her and approximately 30 other women during routine exams. Similarly, a former employee of a music mogul claims she was sexually abused by the mogul over 20 years ago.
Now that the ASA has been signed into law, clients should be prepared to identify past instances of sexual misconduct involving employees and should anticipate claims for negligence and/or negligent hiring, training, and supervision. The ASA is closely modeled after New York's Child Victims Act (CVA), which provided a one-year window for plaintiffs to file civil claims for sexual abuse or assault that occurred while they were under the age of 18. More than 9,000 lawsuits were filed under the CVA, so we anticipate a similar, if not greater number of lawsuits filed under the ASA.
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