Gov. Newsom Signs Child Sexual Abuse Survival Bill, Expanding Statute of Limitations for Claims in CA

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Survivors of childhood sexual abuse will now have a greater opportunity to seek justice under a new law established by Assembly Bill 218. Signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 13, 2019 and which goes into effect on January 1, 2020, the law provides a three-year window for survivors to file a lawsuit, regardless of when the abuse occurred and regardless of their current age. The law also revises the current statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims. California previously allowed victims to file claims until the age of 26. AB218 extends that limit to age 40 or within five years after drawing a connection between the abuse and their current psychological injuries, whichever comes later.

Attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala jointly represent close to 100 abuse survivors who plan to file lawsuits, including claims against the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church and related entities across California.

“Since the state passed a one-year window nearly 20 years ago, there’s been a national reckoning around sex abuse that has empowered survivors to finally come forward after lifetimes of silence. This new law will give those survivors an opportunity to receive the closure and accountability they’ve been denied for decades by the lobbying efforts of institutions like the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America,” said Michael Pfau, Partner at Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala (PCVA).

“This groundbreaking new law will allow an untold number of Californians who were sexually abused as children to finally get their day in court,” said Rahul Ravipudi, Partner at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP. “No matter when the abuse took place, survivors across the state now have three years to file suit. It’s time to hold accountable the institutions that have allowed, and even enabled, the abuse of children for far too long.”

For many survivors of childhood sexual abuse, the realization of how the abuse has affected them doesn’t come until much later in life. The attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC have a wide-range of experience helping survivors of abuse, including adults who were sexually abused as children. Members of the legal team have represented hundreds of abuse survivors with claims against the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, schools and other youth-serving organizations that failed to protect their members from sexual predators.

To learn more about our team and your legal options to pursue a childhood sexual abuse claim in California, visit