Update 8/3/2020: Governor Cuomo signed into law an extension of the Child Victims Act, so the deadline to file cases has been extended. It is no longer August 14, 2020. It is now August 14, 2021
The Child Victims Act is now the law of the land in New York. On February 14, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the new law, which ensures sex abuse victims have a reasonable time period to sue their attackers, and those victims with claims that were too old to file now have a one-year window in which to file their claims.
The new law does three basic things to extend the deadline by which victims can file lawsuits (which is known as the statute limitations):
- Sex abuse victims can pursue criminal charges until they reach age 28;
- Sex abuse victims can file civil cases until the age of 55;
- Sex abuse victims over the age of 55 with claims that had expired prior to the passage of the new Act will have a one-year window, which begins six months from the passage of the Act, in which to file their claims.
Before the Child Victims Act was passed, the deadline to file criminal charges was five years from the date of the abuse and the deadline to file civil cases was three years after the victim’s 18th birthday. If the prosecutor or victim missed such deadlines, nothing could be done.
In addition to extending the deadlines, the new law also gives those victims whose claims would still be barred under the new law a one-year window to file their claim, regardless of their age and regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred. However, this window does not open immediately. Victims must wait six months from the passage of the Act, which is August 14, 2019, to file their claims, and they will have one year to do so.
This opens the door for victims of Dr. Reginald Archibald and Rockefeller Hospital to file claims that would otherwise be expired and time barred. So, for example, a 57-year old victim, or a 64-year old victim, will have a one year period, which begins on August 14, 2019, which to file a lawsuit to obtain justice and recover for the childhood sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of Dr. Archibald.
Dr. Reginald Archibald, a pediatric specialist for children with growth issues at Rockefeller University Hospital in New York, was accused of sexually assaulting many former child patients during his so-called physical routine. Rockefeller University admitted that it learned about Dr. Archibald’s abuse in 2004 but waited 14 years to contact survivors.
Since then many former patients of Dr. Archibald have come forward, stating the doctor’s sexual abuse including touching their genitals, forcing them to masturbate in front of him, and taking naked pictures of them.
Rockefeller Hospital hired a law firm to investigate Dr. Archibald and concluded that at least some of Dr. Archibald’s conduct was “inappropriate”.
Several months after the investigation, Rockefeller hospital issued a report admitting that Dr. Archibald sexually abused child patients.
The Hospital has since rescinded his emeritus status and deleted his references on the Hospital website.
For many of Dr. Archibald’s victims, it has not been easy to report sexual assault. Even adults find it stressful, embarrassing and humiliating to share their sexual assault experience.
Marc Wites and The Wites & Rogers represents victims of childhood sexual abuse. Marc is a well-known sexual assault victims attorney and is currently representing victims of Dr. Archibald. Marc most recently obtained a record-breaking settlement for four women who were sexually assaulted 11 years earlier by their third-grade teacher.
If you would like more information about claims against Rockefeller Hospital or any other sexual abuse claim, contact Attorney Marc Wites for a free consultation: