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May 2nd, 2013

Minnesota’s Proposed Child Sex Abuse Law Eliminating the Statute of Limitations

Earlier this year, the Minnesota legislature began considering sweeping changes to its statute of limitations in civil child sex abuse cases. As of yesterday, a large majority of the members of Minnesota’s House of Representatives voted in favor of passing the Minnesota Child Victims Act.

The new law would amend Minnesota Statutes 2012, Section 541.073. The amendments of HF681 are noted below. To read an analysis of these amendments, click here.

Subdivision 2. Limitations period.

(a) An action for damages based on personal injury caused by sexual abuse:

(1) must be commenced within six years of the time the plaintiff knew or had reason to know that the injury was caused by the sexual abuse alleged sexual abuse in the case of alleged sexual abuse of an individual 18 years or older;

[the following two subsections were added]

(2) may be commenced at any time in the case of alleged sexual abuse of an individual under the age of 18; and

(3) must be commenced within six years of the alleged sexual abuse in a case where the individual defendant is 16 years old or younger at the time of the alleged  abuse, except when the plaintiff was under 18 at the time of the alleged abuse and then no later than the plaintiff’s 24th birthday.

(b) The plaintiff need not establish which act in a continuous series of sexual abuse acts by the defendant caused the injury. (c) The knowledge of a parent or guardian may not be imputed to a minor. (d)

(c) This section does not affect the suspension of the statute of limitations during a period of disability under section 541.15.

Subdivision 3. Applicability.

This section applies to an action for damages commenced against a person who caused the plaintiff’s personal injury either by (1) committing sexual abuse against the plaintiff, or (2) negligently permitting sexual abuse against the plaintiff to occur negligence.

Subdivision 4. Vicarious liability or respondeat superior claims. [Added]

A claim based on vicarious liability or liability under the doctrine of respondeat superior shall be commenced within six years of the alleged sexual abuse except when the plaintiff was under 18 at the time of the alleged abuse and then no later than the plaintiff’s 24th birthday. This subdivision does not limit the availability of these claims under other law.

Subdivision 5. Title. [Added]

This section may be cited as the “Child Victims Act.” EFFECTIVE DATE; APPLICABILITY.

(a) This section is effective the day following final enactment and applies to conduct occurring on or after that date.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in the case of conduct alleged to constitute sexual abuse against an individual under the age of 18, if the claim would otherwise be time-barred under a previous version of Minnesota Statutes, section 541.073, or other applicable statutes of limitations, a claim for injury based on that conduct may be filed no later than three years following the effective date of this section.

Related posts:

Child Sex Abuse Lawyer – Representation by a Former Prosecutor

Guy D’Andrea is a former prosecutor and offers a free, confidential consultation for all victims of sex abuse. Call 800-220-7600.

If you would like more information about representation for a child sex abuse matter, contact the law firm of Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan. Our lawyers are licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and handle civil sex abuse cases across the country in conjunction with local counsel.

Our attorneys may represent sex abuse victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; he County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states such as New York and Delaware on a case by case basis.

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