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The Importance of the Statute of Limitations

Recent case illustrates power of statute of limitations.

Key point:Minors who are sexually molested by church workers may not sue their church after the statute of limitations has expired. Generally, the statute of limitations begins to run on a minor's 18th birthday. In some states the statute of limitations does not begin to run until an adult survivor of child sexual molestation "discovers" that he or she has experienced physical or emotional suffering as a result of the molestation. However, a lawsuit will be barred by the statute of limitations even under the so—called "discovery rule" if it can be demonstrated that the victim failed to file the lawsuit within the time period prescribed by the statute of limitations following the "discovery" that his or her injuries were caused by the molestation.

A Louisiana court ruled that the statute of limitations prevented an adult woman from suing a Catholic diocese for a priest's acts ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1996

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