NY Legislature Votes to Extend Child Victims Act Deadline

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Some important news on the CVA front. Wednesday evening the New York State Legislature responded to mounting criticism that Gov. Cuomo exceeded his executive authority in issuing an Executive Order that extended the CVA look back window until January 14, 2021. They decided to act by legislatively mandating an extension of their own. The Legislature passed a Bill that followed the timetable set forth in the legislation previously introduced in the Senate and Assembly, respectively, and extended the look-back window for an additional year until August 14, 2021.

Passage of this Bill occurred very quickly, as the legislative term ends June 2. Bill sponsor Brad Hoylman cited the reasons for the extension as being the lack of access to the courts as a result of COVID 19, as well as the fact that victims had more immediate financial concerns to deal with as a result of the pandemic, so they needed more time to file suit.

By extending the CVA window until January 14, 2021 Governor Cuomo called for a five-month extension to the window. When he did so he noted that the legislators were correct in setting forth a one-year time frame initially, but that he was extending the window by Executive Order in light of COVID 19. In doing so, however, he did not endorse the one-year extension that had been called for by the Legislature. Rather, when that legislation was first introduced, he recognized that “there has to be closure for society” and “people just want to know at some point what their liability is.”

It will now be up to the Governor to decide if this Bill becomes law.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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