Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
California Expands Window for Filing Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Extending Look Back Window in NY for Child Victims Act

In August 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S7082/A9036) extending the look back window for victims to file claims under the Child Victims Act in New York state, regardless of when or how long ago the alleged abuse occurred. Since going into effect last year, the Child Victims Act has provided an avenue for justice for thousands of survivors. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, on May 8, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order extending the window until January 14, 2021. The legislation was later extended such that claims can now be filed under the Child Victims Act until August 14, 2021.

By extending this window for survivors, the state of New York is standing on the right side of history,” said attorney Wendy Fleishman from Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, which has filed filed many claims inside and outside New York against institutions like schools, hospitals, and dioceses. “The number of courageous survivors who have come forward in less than a year highlights the magnitude of the systemic problems within the Catholic Church and beyond,” added Fleishman. “During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to provide survivors the time and support they need to come forward and speak their truths.”

Hundreds of clergy abuse survivors have come forward to bring their cases to court. The chart below breaks down, by diocese, the number of cases filed by victims to-date:


Diocese Clergy Cases Filed
Archdiocese of NY 205
Buffalo 243
Brooklyn 117
Albany127
Syracuse66
Rochester 123
Rockville Centre 73
Ogdensburg48
TOTAL 1,002

If you or a loved one were victimized by a member of the Clergy or a teacher in a Catholic school in New York, we welcome an opportunity to investigate your potential claim confidentially. Please contact Wendy Fleishman or another lawyer at our firm to get help and justice today.