The personal injury lawyers at Injured CT have handled complicated, sensitive, and personal sexual abuse and sexual assault cases in Connecticut.
Put Our Experience to the Test
Some of our recent results include:
Attorney Baber reached a confidential settlement with the owner of a daycare in an amount representing the full homeowner’s policy limits on behalf of a 5-year-old who was abused at an at-home daycare by another child.
The claims against the daycare provider included breaches of Connecticut’s regulations of home daycare providers and common law claims. The settlement was reached before a lawsuit was ever filed.
Attorney Baber reached a confidential settlement with a Connecticut city’s Board of Education on behalf of a teenage student who was sexually assaulted by a substitute teacher and coach.
The Board settled the claims at mediation before a lawsuit was ever filed, even though the coach was arrested and the sexual abuse occurred off campus. Settling prior to commencing a lawsuit was crucial, as Attorney Baber’s minor client never had to be deposed or testify.
Attorney Baber settled a sexual abuse claim for $450,000.00 on behalf of a now 51-year-old man who was sexually abused by a priest of the Ukrainian Catholic Church beginning when he was 12 years old.
The abuser, now deceased, was Reverend Father Joseph Shaloka. He was the priest at St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church in Terryville, Connecticut, until his death in 1990. Before his time at St. Michael, he was a clergy member in Syracuse, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Attorney Baber’s client showed extraordinary courage in pursuing his claim. We were able to resolve his decades-old claim without ever having to file a lawsuit. The case was mediated by a well-known mediator with experience settling clergy sex abuse cases.
Read the Hartford Courant’s article on the settlement.
Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Settlements
Statutes of Limitations are procedural laws that govern when a claim may be brought after it has “accrued.” Most Connecticut personal injury cases will fall under Connecticut’s personal injury negligence statute of limitations, Connecticut General Statutes §52-584.
This statute imposes a two-year window within which to commence a lawsuit. For example, if you received personal injuries in a car accident in Hartford caused by another person’s bad driving, then you would have two years from the date of that accident to file a lawsuit against the bad driver.
It is not enough for the injured person to make a claim to the responsible person’s insurance company within that time period. Instead, you must “commence” a civil lawsuit through a formal process.
When to Bring Your Sexual Abuse Claim Forward
Connecticut applies different statutes of limitations to sexual abuse claims. For example, Connecticut General Statutes §52-577e allows the victim of sexual assault to bring a civil claim at any time, without any time limitation, if the person who assaulted the victim is convicted of first-degree sexual assault or aggravated first-degree sexual assault.
If this specific provision does not apply, then the general statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims may apply, Connecticut General Statutes §52-577d. However, there are significant questions that still have not been resolved with this statute.
The History of Connecticut’s Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations
In 2019, the Connecticut legislature changed the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases. Prior to this change, a sexual abuse victim under the age of 21 had until the age of 48 (30 years past the age of 18) within which to bring a claim.
The prior version of the statute stated: “…[N]o action to recover damages for personal injury to a minor, including emotional distress, caused by sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or sexual assault may be brought by such person later than thirty years from the date such person attains the age of majority.”
In other words, under the old law, if a person was sexually abused in the 1980s at the age of 12, then that person would have 36 years to file a lawsuit – 6 years until that person turned 18, then another 30 years until the age of 48.
The Public Act 19-16
The 2019 legislation, known as Public Act 19-16 and also known as the “Time’s Up Act,” repealed and replaced this statute. It now reads: “…[N]o action to recover damages for personal injury to a person under twenty-one years of age, including emotional distress, caused by sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or sexual assault may be brought by such person later than thirty years from the date such person attains the age of twenty-one.”
Seemingly, this extended the statute of limitations in one way: it redefined the age of the class of victims it applied to, from those under 18 to those under the age of 21. Now, a victim under the age of 21 has until the victim’s 51st birthday to bring a lawsuit.
However, and most importantly, this statute specifically only applies to claims where sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual exploitation occurred on or after October 1, 2019. The previous law applied to claims that occurred prior to its passage.
Attorney Baber and the Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations
Unfortunately, the legislature intended this new law to only benefit those victims well into the future, at the enormous expense of victims of abuse before October 1, 2019. As a result, it is entirely unclear what statute of limitations applies to those victims who were abused as minors prior to October 1, 2019.
Because Connecticut’s legislature abandoned those victims, it appears as though the Courts will have to decide which law applies to this class of victims.
Attorney Baber has aggressively demanded that those parties responsible for drafting this weak legislation recognize and change the law so that those who were abused as minors prior to October 1, 2019, are not left in the dark and instead have clarity on what their rights are.
Unfortunately, sexual abuse lawsuit defense attorneys are preparing to argue that if the abuse occurred before October 1, 2019, the general statute of limitations of three years applies, even if the victim was under 18.
If you have a sexual abuse claim that falls into these categories, then contact Injured CT’s sexual abuse lawyers to discuss your case. We can help you navigate these complex issues.
General Statute of Limitations for Connecticut Sexual Abuse Claims
We do know that if the intentional act fits the following criteria, then Connecticut’s three-year statute of limitations may apply:
- While the victim was an adult (over the age of 18) and the sexual abuse, sexual assault, and/or sexual exploitation occurred before October 1, 2019, or
- While the victim was over the age of 21 and the sexual abuse, sexual assault, and/or sexual exploitation occurred on or after October 1, 2019
In addition, if a victim who belongs to one of the classes in 1) and 2) brings a lawsuit sounding in negligence against, for example, the employer of the perpetrator, then Connecticut’s two-year statute of limitations law may apply.
Statutes of Limitation can create complex and confusing issues for anyone who is considering bringing a claim for sexual abuse, sexual assault, and/or sexual exploitation, even lawyers. If you have a claim against a perpetrator or that person’s employer, contact Injured’s sexual assault lawyers for a confidential consultation.
Who Can Be Sued for Sexual Abuse in Connecticut?
Any person or entity responsible for the sexual abuse can be held responsible for the victim’s abuse. Of course, the perpetrator of the abuse can be sued for that person’s intentional act of committing the abuse.
In those cases, trouble often arises in whether that perpetrator can pay monetary damages for any judgment a victim receives. In other words, if the person responsible for the abuse has no insurance, assets, or money, then getting a judgment against that person does not mean the victim will ever receive a dime!
Experienced sexual abuse attorneys will also investigate to determine whether any other person or entity may be responsible for the victim’s injuries. While employers aren’t responsible for their employees’ intentional acts, employers who suspect or know about sexual abuse can be liable for that person’s losses, too.
Oftentimes, employers have insurance, assets, and money to cover a money judgment. Therefore, the law allows a victim of sexual assault to sue the employer, too, if there are grounds to believe that the employer is also responsible.
Let Lawyer Baber Spearhead Your Sexual Abuse Case
Lawyer Baber has been successful in settling cases against employers for the sexual abuse committed by their employees, including municipalities and churches. If you have a question about how to bring a claim for sexual abuse, contact Attorney Nate Baber for a free and confidential consultation.