Statute of Limitations CA AB-3092
A statute of limitations is an important law that places a time limit on your right to file a lawsuit against one or more parties for civil damages, or losses associated with a wrongdoing committed against you. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse or assault in California, you must file a civil claim by the state’s statute of limitations to have a valid case.
Recently, California lawmakers passed a series of laws that altered the deadlines to file. One of them was Assembly Bill 3092, which may apply to you if you are a survivor of sexual abuse by a physician at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
What Is CA AB-3092?
On September 20, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 3092 (AB-3092) into law in California. This act amended an existing law to allow plaintiffs that were previously barred from financial recovery by state law to file lawsuits for sexual assault, abuse or other inappropriate acts by a doctor employed at a hospital or medical center owned or operated by UCLA.
The law that it amended is California Code of Civil Procedure 340.16, which gives plaintiffs in California 10 years from the date of the last act or attempted act of sexual assault or 3 years from the date that the plaintiff discovers that an injury or illness is connected to sexual assault to file a lawsuit (whichever comes later). AB 3092 extended the window of time CCP 340.16 gives plaintiffs to resubmit claims that were barred by previous law.
CCP 340.16 in its original text revived certain claims, meaning that it gave plaintiffs the right to submit claims that were barred by the previous statute of limitations. It applied to claims that sought to recover more than $250,000 in damages, claims involving sexual abuse by a physician at a student health center between 1988 and 2017 or claims that would otherwise be barred before January 1, 2020. AB 3092 altered the language of this law to also include older claims, in some scenarios.
What Did Assembly Bill 3092 Change?
The purpose of Assembly Bill 3092 was to broaden the types of sexual abuse lawsuits that can be filed by victims in California – specifically for victims of doctor sexual abuse at the University of California, Los Angeles. This law is what allowed victims of Dr. James Heaps, a former gynecologist at the UCLA Medical Clinic who was accused of sexually assaulting his patients, to file previously barred claims against him in 2020.
AB-3092 revived claims for damages arising out of a sexual assault by a physician while employed by a medical clinic that is operated by the University of California, Los Angeles, or a doctor who had active privileges at a hospital owned or operated by UCLA. It specifically allowed claimants to revive lawsuits for sexual assaults or inappropriate sexual activity that occurred between January 1, 1983, and January 1, 2019, that otherwise would be barred before January 1, 2021.
In other words, AB-3092 gives certain survivors of sexual assault by a physician at the University of California, Los Angeles until the end of the year 2021 to file charges in response to sexual assault and abuse from 1983 to 2019. If you fall within this range, contact a lawyer in Southern California right away about bringing a lawsuit against a physician and/or the university.
Contact a Sexual Abuse Attorney as Soon as Possible
California’s sexual abuse and assault statutes of limitations are in a constant state of reform. They are frequently changing and evolving to better protect survivors and their ability to seek justice for these crimes. The best way to make sure that you meet your deadline to file a civil lawsuit for sexual assault or abuse in California is by working with an attorney. If you are a sexual abuse survivor, contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi as soon as possible to request a free consultation and file your civil claim before the applicable deadline.