The Syracuse Post- Standard publsihed a letter to the editor written by LRANY Executive Director, Tom Stebbins, focused on the negative implications that could come from passing a bill to open a one-year period during which plaintiffs could file lawsuits for alleged abuse that happened at any time.
“We applaud Assemblymember Markey’s commitment to helping victims of sexual abuse get justice (“Reform statute of limitations to help sex abuse victims”, Sept.21). However, her proposal to open a one-year period during which plaintiffs could file lawsuits for alleged abuse that happened at any time, raises very serious concerns.
First and foremost, statutes of limitations exist –and have existed for thousands of years – in order to ensure that all people are afforded the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law. Memories fade, witnesses die, and records are lost. In many cases, the alleged abuser themselves is no longer alive. When California adopted a similar proposal, 336 of the over 800 claims were against deceased individuals. In these cases, the “deep pocketed” institutions which employed the alleged abuser become the target of the lawsuit.”