ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Hundreds, if not thousands of people who say they were molested as children in New York state are expected to go to court this week to sue their alleged abusers and the institutions they say failed them, including the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, public schools and hospitals.
It’s all because of a landmark state law passed this year that creates a one-year window allowing people to file civil lawsuits that had previously been barred by the state’s statute of limitations, one of the nation’s most restrictive, that had prevented many victims from seeking justice for decades-old abuse.
Attorney Jason Amala’s firm, Seattle-based Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, is representing hundreds of clients in New York who plan to file lawsuits. He said the lawsuits will not only seek compensation for victims, but also reveal information to the public about how abuse cases were handled and in some cases, covered up.
“This is very unusual,” he said of the litigation window. He said New York’s large population and its significant number of Catholics “make it pretty close to unprecedented.”