Georgia Legislator Pre-files Bill to Lengthen Window to File Child Sex Abuse Cases

Georgia Legislator Pre-files Bill to Lengthen Window to File Child Sex Abuse Cases
Nov 28, 2016


One of the greatest tragedies in our society is when the innocence of a child is lost due to sexual abuse. Today in the news, I read about claims of sexual abuse made by 26 young patients against their pediatrician in Minnesota. Hardly a day goes by without similar stories where young lives are forever altered by an authority figure who a child trusted.

It is not uncommon for victims of childhood abuse to “block out” the abuse as a coping mechanism. In many instances, the victim does not begin to understand the damages they suffered until well into their adult years. Unfortunately, in many states the deadlines for filing a child sex abuse lawsuit may have passed by the time the victim becomes an adult.

In 2015, the Georgia legislature recognized this problem and passed a law that allowed a plaintiff to bring a child sex abuse lawsuit either before the age of 23 or within 2 years from the date the plaintiff later discovered the sex abuse. Further, the legislature opened the door to allowing child sex abuse lawsuits that had not been previously filed and would be untimely, to be filed up to July 1, 2017.

Now, Representative Jason Spencer has pre-filed a bill that would extend through July 1, 2019, the deadline for child sex abuse victims to file lawsuits that were not previously filed. This important legislation would allow victims of child sex abuse more time to file civil lawsuits to recover damages to help pay for the expensive treatment necessary to recover from child sex abuse and to compensate victims for their suffering.