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Retrospective Legislation

Legislation extending the time during which abuse victims can sue may violate state constitutional provisions.

Missouri
State:
Key point: A number of states have enacted laws extending the time during which adult survivors of child sexual abuse can file lawsuits seeking damages for their injuries. Some of these laws may violate state constitutional provisions prohibiting "retrospective legislation."

• The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a state law extending the time during which an adult survivor of child sexual abuse could sue for damages violated the state constitution. An adult male sued his former priest, church, and Catholic diocese alleging that he had been repeatedly molested while a minor by the priest. The alleged victim claimed that he was intimidated into silence because of his trust in the priest, his belief that the priest was a close family friend, his perception of the priest's greater physical strength, and his young age. He also alleged that the abuse caused him to repress the incidents ...

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Posted:
  • January 3, 1994

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