By Charles J. Englert III, Esq.
As of today, August 3, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into legislation (S7082/A9036) extending the “look-back” period of the Child Victims Act, which was set to expire on August 14, 2020, to August 14, 2021. This bill, originally introduced in the State Senate in January, seemed to be stalled in committee until recently. The disruption of the operation of State Courts due to the COVID-19 pandemic led the Governor to sign Executive Order No. 202.29. Executive Order No. 202.29 extended the “look-back” period of the Child Victims Act through January 14, 2021. Extension of the “look-back” period by executive order led many to wonder whether or not such an action was a valid exercise of the Governor’s emergency powers. Soon after the Governor signed Executive Order No. 202.29, both chambers of the legislature passed the bill on May 27, 2020. However, as the bill was not delivered to the Governor for his signature until July 31, such a gap again made many question whether or not the Governor would sign the bill before the original “look-back” period expired.
Those questions are now moot as S7082/A9036 is now law, and the expiration of the CVA “look-back” period is officially extended to August 14, 2021. However, new issues in litigating these matters may present themselves. With witnesses becoming another year older, companies following normal document retention protocols, and more institutions experiencing financial hardships as a result of claims filed against them, litigating CVA matters continues to present a bevy of challenges to both the plaintiff and defense bars.
Hurwitz & Fine will be monitoring and updating any CVA related developments closely, whether they come through the legislature or the courts.