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California’s new Childhood Sexual Abuse and Assault Law, signed into law in October, 2019, by Governor Gavin Newsom, expands the rights of Childhood Sexual Abuse & Assault survivors to bring civil damage lawsuits against the perpetrators of these horrific crimes against them. The new law, effective January 1, 2020, opens up a special three-year “window of justice,” for all survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Assault--regardless of present age--to file a civil lawsuit to get compensation for the abuse they suffered. Now, for the first time in California's State history, public entities can be sued as well, meaning that survivors or Childhood Sexual Abuse can bring proper claims against teachers, school districts, hospitals and doctors, as well as seeking justice against priests, clergy, coaches, camp counselors, Boy Scout Leaders, or anyone else who may have sexually molested them before their 18th birthday.
This new, progressive Childhood Sexual Abuse and Assault Law gives victims of such abuse a “window of justice”--a three year opportunity for finally securing justice--beginning in January, 2020--to revive any past claims of Sexual Abuse that may have expired under previous Statute of Limitations pertaining to the law. And, in a powerful new development under this law protecting survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, if any entity--church, school, hospital, camp---participated in a cover-up of a pattern of abuse, and failed to report such abuse to authorities--that entity is now liable for three times the damages for their failure to report. In the landmark case which Michael Fiumara won vs. the Diocese of Santa Rosa in 2007 for $5 million where the Catholic Church concealed the identity of the sexual abuser and the fact that the abuse took place, the terms of this new law would have meant an additional $15 million award against the Diocese of Santa Rosa, the largest Catholic Diocese between San Francisco and the Oregon border.
Under the new law, known as AB 218, survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Assault who have suffered quietly for decades, are now able to step forward out of the darkness and depression many suffer from such crimes, and obtain the justice and compensation previously denied them. No other law firm understands this better, nor is more deeply dedicated to the community, than Fiumara & Milligan, where former State Legislator Noreen Evans who wrote State laws has teamed up with Michael Fiumara, whose pioneering Childhood Sexual Abuse settlement has achieved legal justice and compensation on behalf of those least able to fight for themselves.
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