March 10, 2005

2 senators seeking to relax limits on lawsuits

Toledo Blade

COLUMBUS - A pair of Democratic senators yesterday called for greatly expanding the time window for victims of past and future abuse by clergy to file lawsuits against their abusers and those who shield them.

They hope to add the provision to a bill in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee mandating that any rabbi, priest, minister, other clergy, or laypersons acting on behalf of religious institutions report any abuse or neglect of a child.

The amendment, pushed by Sens. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo) and Marc Dann (D., Youngstown), would expand the future statute of limitations for bringing a sexual abuse lawsuit from the current six years to 20 years. It would also open a one-year window for victims of past abuse to come forward and bring action, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.

Like current law, the time limit would not start running for a child until he turned 18.

Posted by kshaw at March 10, 2005 07:53 AM