The new Assembly Bill No. 2777 has not changed the list of possible evidence in sexual abuse cases. However, there is a new one-year window for cases involving cover-ups. A different, four-year window may apply to your case, depending on the circumstances.
Assembly Bill No. 2777, also called the Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act, amends the previous statute of limitations that governed how long a person had to file a lawsuit seeking damages for sexual abuse. The new Assembly Bill also addresses cases involving an institutional coverup.
Evidence We Can Use in a Sexual Abuse Case
When you hire our sexual abuse lawyers to handle your case, they will manage evidence collection for you. Useful case evidence may include:
- Proof of the injuries or illness you suffered because of the abuse, such as your medical records
- Any relevant photographs
- Surveillance camera footage
- Witness statements
Although California’s new Assembly Bill does not change the kinds of evidence we can use, survivors may now pursue lawsuits that were previously time-barred due to an expired statute of limitations.
How does Assembly Bill No. 2777 Affect Sexual Abuse Cases in California?
Assembly Bill No. 2777 allows for:
- Survivors to pursue lawsuits that would have previously been barred because of an expired statute of limitations.
- Survivors to file lawsuits against an entity that attempted to cover up sexual abuse.
The new law gives survivors until December 31, 2023, to file a lawsuit if their case involves a cover-up of sexual abuse. This provision of the new law:
- Allows a survivor to file a lawsuit if the previous legal action was barred because the applicable statute of limitations expired;
- Allows a lawsuit to proceed if the case was filed as of January 1, 2023; and
- Allows a survivor to file a previously unfiled claim between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023.
The provision that allows the reopening of lawsuits requires the plaintiff to allege all three of these elements:
- The plaintiff is a survivor of sexual assault.
- The abuse occurred on or after the survivor’s 18th birthday.
- At least one entity or institution bears legal responsibility for damages for sexual misconduct.
- The liable entity or entities tried or did cover up the sexual assault or a previous instance of sexual assault by the alleged perpetrator in this lawsuit. The cover-up can include the entity’s “officers, directors, representatives, employees, agents” or other parties.
The California Legislature recognized that companies were using non-disclosure agreements or confidentiality agreements to incentivize individuals to keep information about sexual assault from public disclosure. Neither amendment allows a person to file a lawsuit if they have already resolved their claim through a settlement or court award.
Four-Year Window for Filing a Sexual Abuse Case
The new Assembly Bill will allow survivors to file lawsuits that were previously time-barred because the applicable statute of limitations expired.
The abuse must have happened on or after January 1, 2009, as well as on or after the survivor’s 18th birthday. The plaintiff can file a lawsuit for such damages until December 31, 2026.
Our Firm Will File Your Sexual Abuse Case for You
Hiring the sexual abuse attorneys at our firm means having advocates on your side. We can help you feel as comfortable as you can to discuss your case with our team. When you work with our firm, we will:
- Handle the legal tasks in your case
- Ensure you understand the new filing deadlines
- Gather case evidence for you
- Identify potentially responsible parties
- Communicate with other parties who may have information about your case
- Prepare you for court (if necessary)
- Negotiate a fair settlement
We have experience helping sexual abuse survivors pursue the compensation they need, and we want to help you.
The Previous Law that Applied to California Sexual Abuse Cases
Before Assembly Bill No. 2777 was passed, adult survivors of sexual assault had to file a lawsuit within:
- 10 years of the most recent wrongful sexual act.
- Three years of the date when the survivor discovered or reasonably should have discovered they suffered an illness or injury from an act or attempted act of sexual assault against them, whichever date was later.
You do not have to navigate the legal system alone after you’ve faced sexual abuse. When you work with our firm, we will explain how the new Assembly Bill applies to your case.
Contact Greenberg Gross Today to Learn More About the Evidence We Use in Sexual Abuse Cases
Our team can explain more about the evidence we can use in your case when you reach out to us. It can be challenging to interpret Assembly Bill No. 2777 on your own. Allow us to provide insight into your case and address your legal questions and concerns.
Reach out to one of our team members to get started with a free consultation. Don’t wait to begin pursuing the justice you deserve. We are here for you when you are ready.