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NJ Sex Abuse Law Suit Time Limit Bill – Is It Time To Do Away With 2 Year Limit [POLL]

flikr user jimbowen0306
flikr user jimbowen0306

In New Jersey, as the law currently stands, if you’re a victim of sexual abuse, you have 2 years from the time you realize you’ve been sexually abused to file a lawsuit against the individual or institution that carried out the abuse.

A two year limit is way too little.

However according to a recent report: an Assembly panel has approved a bill abolishing 2-year time limit for sex abuse lawsuits… but would allow them to file suit no matter how much time has passed.

In one example in the report,

Todd Kostrub said his seventh birthday was “a big deal” because that was the day he became an altar boy at Holy Assumption Elementary School in Roebling.

But later that day, a priest led him to a back room and told him to take off his clothes. “I asked why. He said, ‘You’re becoming an altar boy. This is part of the procedure,’” said Kostrub, 47, who solemnly described to the Assembly Judiciary Committee in Trenton Thursday the sexual abuse he endured until he turned 18.

When Kostrub was 31 and ready to tell his story, he learned New Jersey law set a maximum of two years to sue from the point victims realize sexual abuse has damaged them. The law prevented him from suing the priest and the church leaders who protected him.

He was one of more than a dozen victims of childhood sexual abuse who begged the committee to approve a bill (A2405) that would allow them to file suit no matter how much time has passed, against individuals and institutions — public, private, for-profit and non-profit.

The committee cleared the bill 5-2.

New Jersey would join 10 other states eliminating the two-year time limits on civil lawsuits if the full Legislature approves the bill and Gov. Chris Christie signs it into law.

But Pat Brannigan, executive director for the New Jersey Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s bishops, said the law would lead to an onslaught of lawsuits that would drain church coffers.

Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) a sponsor of the Senate bill, expected to be taken up by the full upper house on Monday, acknowledged the church’s efforts to protect children from future harm, but said it isn’t enough.

Stacy Fannin, 43 of Trenton, who revealed he has been raped by three priests as a child, said he sees a counselor and takes three kinds of medication to help calm his nightmares and treat his depression. But it’s not enough to make him feel whole.

While I concede that it may take years for a victim to come to terms with the fact that he or she has been sexually abused….

Do you think an unlimited time limit to file a lawsuit against the individual or institution accused of sexual abuse is merited?


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