California’s Governor Signs Childhood Abuse Lawsuit Extension

GOOD NEWS!!! California’s Governor Gavin Newsom announced on October 13, 2019 that he signed AB 218 into law. Soon California’s childhood sexual assault survivors will have a three-year window from Jan. 1, 2020 until Dec. 31, 2022, for the revival of past claims to file lawsuits that might have expired due to the statute of limitations.

In addition, the bill reads in part:

“This bill would expand the definition of childhood sexual abuse, which would instead be referred to as childhood sexual assault. This bill would increase the time limit for commencing an action for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual assault to 22 years from the date the plaintiff attains the age of majority or within 5 years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that the psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by sexual assault, whichever is later.”

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the author of AB 218, deserves much credit for her hard work to get this bill through California’s Legislature. And many thanks to Governor Newsom for signing AB 218 and now thousands of suffering Californians have a new chance for justice.

A blog article published by the law firm of Lewis + Llwellyn L.L.P. describes some of the features and benefits of AB 218 for victims of child abuse. The article can be found here (click on title link below):

CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ASSAULT: HOW AB-218 WILL CHANGE THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN CALIFORNIA

Progress toward justice and protection for victims of child sexual abuse is taking place. Hopefully, by staying on this path – and with other states joining California and following their lead, more children will be protected and more criminal abusers will be punished or dissuaded from committing these horrible crimes. 

Those who have fought so long – dedicated so many hours -, and donated so much of their time and money to push the Federal and state governments to finally take action (victims, activists, legal experts, judges, lobbyists, and elected officials) deserve our thanks, and continued support. 

The editorial staff of Watchtower Documents also wants to add our sincere thanks to the legal teams that represented and pushed this important legal bill – and especially to both Governor Newsom and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez for their efforts and support!


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