'Flood' of Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuits Expected Under New California AB 2777 Law

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‘Flood’ of Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuits Expected Under New California AB 2777 Law

‘Flood’ of Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuits Expected Under New California AB 2777 Law

Dec 19, 2022

A new California law – the Sexual Abuse And Cover-Up Accountability Act – was signed under Assembly Bill 2777 (AB 2777) in September. The AB 2777 law officially takes effect on January 1, 2023, and as several media outlets have reported, the number of civil lawsuits filed by survivors is expected to increase significantly.

‘Flood’ of Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuits Expected Under New California AB 2777 Law

A recent report from The Guardian noted that a similar New York law – the Adult Survivors Act – is likely to turn a “trickle of high-profile sexual abuse lawsuits” into “a flood” in the coming months. The New York Adult Survivors Act opens a one-year window for plaintiffs to file civil lawsuits on time-expired claims (those that would otherwise be barred due to the statute of limitations).

The Guardian referenced some “bold-faced names” that have already been included in sexual abuse claims under the New York Adult Survivors Act, such as:

  • Donald Trump
  • Leon Black
  • Bill Cosby
  • JP Morgan
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Dr. Robert Hadden

“A broad legislative sweep, the New York Adult Survivors Act allows for adult survivors to file lawsuits and for the alleged abusers or their estates, as well as businesses and institutions that enabled the conduct by ignoring or encouraging an environment that allowed the assaults to occur, to be held financially liable,” The Guardian reported.

Moreover, while the total number of sexual abuse claims that will be filed under the New York law is unknown, The Guardian reported that under a previous window allowing survivors of childhood sex crimes to file lawsuits, as many as 11,000 were brought over the course of two years.

California AB 2777 opens a three-year window for such claims while also providing a one-year window for civil lawsuits related to cover-ups involving employers. Accordingly, thousands of claims are expected to be filed from now until the 2026 deadline.

Let’s look at California AB 2777 in greater detail in the sections below. We’ll also provide information on how to file your claim with Dordulian Law Group’s experienced and proven Los Angeles sexual assault attorneys.

What is California AB 2777/the Sexual Abuse And Cover-Up Accountability Act?

Similar to California’s landmark legislation known as AB 218 which allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse a three-year lookback window to file civil lawsuits for financial compensation, AB 2777 affords adult survivors of sexual assault a three-year revival period for securing justice.

While the California statute of limitations on sexual assault allows adult survivors a 10-year window to file civil claims, AB 2777 automatically revives eligibility for any such crime which occurred on or after January 1, 2009.

AB 2777 ensures that:

  • Until December 31, 2026, claims seeking to recover damages suffered as a result of a sexual assault that occurred on or after January 1, 2009 (that would otherwise have been barred solely because the statute of limitations has or had expired) are officially revived.

Additionally, claims seeking to recover damages suffered as a result of a sexual assault that occurred on or after the plaintiff’s 18th birthday are revived when:

  • One or more entities are legally responsible for damages and the entity or their agents engaged in a cover-up, as defined, and any related claims.

Under AB 2777, a sexual assault cover-up is defined as:

“A concerted effort to hide evidence relating to a sexual assault that incentivizes individuals to remain silent or prevents information relating to a sexual assault from becoming public or being disclosed to the plaintiff, including, but not limited to, the use of nondisclosure agreements or confidentiality agreements.”

However, AB 2777 does not revive claims that have been litigated to finality before January 1, 2023 or claims that have been compromised by written settlement agreements entered into before that date.

In other words, AB 2777 allows all adult survivors of sexual assault an opportunity to file new civil claims for damages for crimes which occurred after January 1, 2009. This new law applies to all forms of sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, etc.

Dordulian Law Group (DLG) has processed nearly 100 claims on behalf of childhood sexual abuse survivors under AB 218. With the passage of AB 2777, we anticipate a significant increase in related civil lawsuits on behalf of survivors of adult sexual assault and harassment.

DLG’s founder and president, Sam Dordulian, called the passage of AB 2777 an “important and necessary” step in empowering survivors of sexual assault and providing them with the ability to pursue justice on their own terms. As Dordulian noted when AB 2777 was signed into law, such legislation will undoubtedly impact countless survivors of sexual assault and abuse in a positive way.

“We’ve seen the importance of revival windows in securing justice for childhood survivors with the passage of AB 218. AB 2777 is an equally important step in helping adult survivors of sexual violence obtain the justice they deserve without being deterred by the statute of limitations. The positive impact this will have on survivors simply can’t be overstated,” Dordulian said.

What Damages Can be Recovered in an AB 2777 Lawsuit?

Sexual assault civil lawsuits are a means of helping survivors recover financial compensation for various applicable damages. For example, depending on the specific nature of your adult sexual assault claim, DLG’s sex crimes attorneys will pursue various damages on your behalf, such as:

  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Counseling or therapy expenses (past and future)
  • Hospital or medical care costs (past and future)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages or reduced future earning capacity
  • Punitive damagers
  • Diminished quality of life

The overall value of your sexual assault claim is something that can be discussed during a free consultation with a member of the DLG sexual assault attorney team. When you meet with DLG’s sexual assault lawyers, we will review the facts of your case, offer an estimate for how long it may take to reach a settlement or verdict, and provide an approximate valuation of your case.

How to File Your California AB 2777 Sexual Assault Lawsuit Today

While California AB 2777 officially takes effect on January 1, 2023, you can file your claim today by calling DLG at 818-322-4056. We’re available 24/7 to answer any questions you have.

DLG offers survivors of sexual assault proven expert legal representation as well as a support network of professionals that are available as needed throughout the litigation process. DLG’s SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts) is a unique four-tiered form of legal assistance that prioritizes the overall well-being of survivors:

  • Tier I: Litigation team of sexual assault lawyers headed by Sam Dordulian, a former sex crimes prosecutor/Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County with more than 25 years of experience fighting for justice on behalf of survivors. Dordulian has secured more than 100 jury trial victories and helped clients like you obtain over $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts.
  • Tier II: A licensed and accredited victim advocate dedicated to assisting survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse.
  • Tier III: An in-house clinical therapist with more than 15 years of experience.
  • Tier IV: An in-house Chief Investigator and retired LAPD sex crimes detective with 30 years of experience.

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

Contact DLG’s California sexual assault attorneys today to discuss your AB 2777 lawsuit. We’re dedicated to fighting tirelessly for justice on behalf of all survivors, and there are never any upfront fees for our legal representation. You don’t pay a penny until we’ve successfully secured a maximum financial damages award for your case.

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