In Light of Penn State and Syracuse University Sex Abuse Scandal, Pennsylvania and NY SOL Reform Overdue

It’s ironic that the two most recent and egregious cases of school sex abuse have occurred in states (New York and Pennsylvania) where reform of the civil statutes of limitations is sorely needed. In both states, sex abuse survivors are often barred from bringing legitimate sex abuse lawsuits because the cases are time barred by arbitrary and ineffective (at least in sex abuse cases) statutes of limitations. Originally, such statutes were rightly enacted in order to protect potential defendants from lawsuits arising out of claims that happened in the long ago past. However, in light of what we know about sex abuse cases as well as the psychological process most survivors endure after being abused, such statutes aren’t appropriate or just.
In light of the Penn State sex abuse scandal and the same saga being played out at Syracuse University it’s time both state legislators consider serious statute of limitations reform.