The new year brings a victory for sexual assault survivors in California. Effective January 1, 2023, the statute of limitations to file civil claims for sexual abuse and assault has been extended, reviving the ability of countless Californians to file suit and seek damages for the harms they have suffered.
In 2019, Section 340.16 of the Code of Civil Procedure set the statute of limitations to bring a civil action for damages resulting from a sexual assault to 10 years from the date of the last act against the plaintiff and/or to 3 years from the date the plaintiff discovered an injury or illness from the assaulting act. Section 340.16 was however unclear as to whether or not the statute applied retroactively.
In 2022, Assembly Bill (AB) 2777 known as the “The Sexual Abuse Cover Up Accountability Act,” was passed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. Among other things, AB 2777 amended Section 340.16 of the Code of Civil Procedure to specify that it applies to any actionable assault or abuse that occurred on or after January 1, 2009. AB 2777 revives the statute of limitations for claims that occurred on or after January 1, 2009 that would have been barred solely because their statute of limitations had expired; these claims will now be actionable until at least December 31, 2026.
In addition, AB 2777, addresses the statute of limitations for sexual assault cover-up claims against employers. AB 2777 provides a one-year lookback period for claims against employers who attempted to cover up assault allegations that would otherwise be untimely. Between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023 claims against employers for covering up sexual assaults or abuses are revived. In the year 2023, Plaintiffs may bring claims against their employers for sexual assault cover ups that would have been barred solely because their statute of limitations had expired. AB 2777 explicitly revives claims of sexual harassment and wrongful termination associated with incidents of sexual assault cover up.
As of January 1, 2023, many survivors of sexual assault have an unprecedented and extended window to bring claims as plaintiffs in civil court. Here at Avloni Law, we stand with sexual assault and abuse survivors as they fight to secure justice for the sexual violence they have endured. If you have experienced sexual assault or abuse dating back to January 1, 2009, or a cover-up by an employer, and are interested in bringing claims as a plaintiff in civil court, please reach out to us.