Child Victims Act: Time running out for lawyers, accusers with hundreds more cases pending

The Journal News

The New York window for filing Child Victims Act suits ends in August, but one prominent law firm is calling for a one-year extension.

Perhaps most disturbing, say plaintiffs lawyers, is that time is running out for some to file with so much work to be done. Time is also running out for clients as they age and health concerns catch up with them.

Jennifer Freeman, a senior attorney with New York-based Marsh Law, has already lost one client, not to other firms, but to time itself.

Freeman said a client, who had filed anonymously and accused Reginald Archibald, of Rockefeller University Hospital, has recently died.

The client, in his 70s when he died, accused Archibald of sexually abusing him during an appointment at Rockefeller. He filed the suit in the initial wave on Aug 14. 

"Unfortunately, justice delayed is justice denied, when our clients pass like this there's nothing we can do for them," Freeman said.  

Extending the window

Freeman, of the Marsh firm, thinks that the sheer amount of cases warrants an extension.

"A one-year extension is proper, right and necessary," Freeman said.

The extension, Freeman argues, is because deadlines in individual cases can come fast and with so many cases, the work can pile up, on both sides. She's filed cases for more than 600 clients so far.

Part of the problem is that most cases are still in the preliminary stages.

To clients it looks like a standstill and lawyers, like Freeman, are left puzzled by the lack of movement, too.

"Lawyers think 'This isn't flow' (and) to a normal person this is really slow," Freeman said. "It's causing my clients a great deal of anxiety."

And all the cases haven't been filed yet. Freeman says she has 300 more clients to file cases for. 

And for most of these cases the important document work has yet to begin.

"The engine of discovery is just starting," Freeman said. "That's when we will get tons of information."

But that engine seems stalled for now, with new deadlines for responding to the massive amount of suits.


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Filed Under  Child Victims Act (CVA)  Childhood Sexual Abuse  News 

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