Child Victims Act and Sexual Misconduct Coverage and Defense

Hurwitz Fine P.C.’s Child Victims Act and Sexual Misconduct Coverage and Defense team is led by highly experienced and nationally recognized defense and coverage attorneys.

For decades, Hurwitz Fine has represented individuals and institutional defendants, both public and private, against civil claims of abuse, assault, negligence/negligent supervision, and harassment. In 2019, with the passage of the Child Victims Act (CVA), the firm expanded its representation of its clients to counsel and defend against civil claims of historical sex abuse commenced during a claim-revival period allowed under the law.

The CVA’s counterpart, the Adult Survivors Act (ASA), was signed into law in May 2022, similarly enabling individuals who were sexually assaulted as adults to file claims against their assailants, even if the statute of limitations has already expired.

Our defense team, consisting of attorneys Andrea Schillaci, Anastasia M. McCarthy, Michael J. Williams, Jody E. Briandi and V. Christopher Potenza, brings a broad understanding and highly focused expertise to this difficult area of law. The team’s experience includes the defense of schools and school districts from kindergarten through university, residential facilities, health care facilities, nursing homes, day care facilities, religious institutions, youth organizations, and camps, as well as allegations arising in the context of employment. 

Andrea Schillaci has worked on sexual misconduct cases for more than 30 years. She handles these matters in a confidential and targeted manner with sensitivity and experience to bring them to resolution. She is a zealous advocate for her clients. Anastasia M. McCarthy brings insight, experience, and creativity to the defense of these matters, and has authored numerous articles on both the Child Victims Act and Adult Survivors Act. Michael J. Williams has decades of experience in multi-jurisdictional litigation and is currently defending a number of institutions across the United States involved in these types of claims. The team also includes attorney V. Christopher Potenza, a seasoned litigator who has obtained defense verdicts across New York State on various complex matters, and Jody E. Briandi, who has represented schools and school districts in abuse and misconduct cases her entire legal career through all aspects of litigation. 

Our handling of any matter begins with a thorough investigation often dating back to events that occurred many years earlier. We routinely collaborate with in-house counsel and claims handlers to develop the best strategy for case resolution, litigation and/or trial. Our team is sensitive to the issues involved, understands the impact of simultaneous criminal investigations, and effectively manages all aspects of the civil litigation.

Our coverage team, consisting of Dan D. Kohane, Lee S. Siegel and Brian D. Barnas, is recognized for its expertise and cutting-edge capabilities in investigating and analyzing decades-old insurance policies.  With the revival of historical claims, examination of coverage issues requires creativity and persistence. Our team applies well-established coverage principles to these recent statutes, while addressing their particular requirements and challenges. Dan D. Kohane brings over 40 years of experience to his coverage practice. He regularly speaks, writes and presents on coverage issues. He has served as an expert witness internationally and also serves as Adjunct Faculty at the SUNY Buffalo School of Law where he teaches Insurance Law. Dan has made several recent presentations on the special coverage issues that pertain to this statute, including to the New York State Bar Association, New York Insurance Association and Property Loss Resource Bureau (PLRB). In addition, Lee S. Siegel and Brian D. Barnas, members of the Coverage Team, have both written and spoken on these issues.

Hurwitz Fine also has extensive experience in employment law matters pertaining to sexual misconduct and regularly defends employers in state and federal courts. The firm is experienced in representing companies, executives and supervisory employees in the full range of matters involving claims of inappropriate behavior. We regularly conduct investigations of allegations of misconduct. We have represented clients in highly sensitive claims of sexual abuse, including claims of negligent supervision, negligence, civil rights violations, abuse/harassment, retaliation, and discrimination, both in court and before the federal and state administrative agencies. Our team brings broad experience to these matters and recognizes the need for sensitivity, discretion, and confidentiality that is unique to and often lacking in the handling of such matters.

As part of its extensive knowledge in this practice area, Hurwitz Fine spearheaded the Child Victims Act “50 State Compendium” in partnership with The Harmonie Group. To access the compendium, click here.

We also provide training and updates on current and pending legislation, including the CVA and ASA, and regularly conduct sexual harassment training for employers in line with New York State’s annual requirements. For information on these presentations, please visit Hurwitz Fine’s training opportunities