Hundreds of lawsuits hit state courts across New York on Wednesday, August 14th, the first day the new Child Victims Act was in effect. One of these lawsuits was against Rockefeller University (“Rockefeller”). The lawsuit is lodged against Rockefeller University Hospital, long accused of covering up for Reginald MacGregor Archibald, a leading pediatrician at the facility, who allegedly engaged in acts of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse toward many of his patients.
Background Facts on Rockefeller University Hospital and Archibald
Rockefeller, a world-renowned medical research institution, knew and should have known for decades that Archibald was sexually abusing minor patients under the guise of a child growth study. Rockefeller conceded in a recently released investigatory report that Archibald, while purportedly offering patients medical treatment, was in fact engaged in a “pervasive” and “widespread pattern of misconduct and sexually abused many children at the Hospital.”
Rockefeller further admitted that it was aware of numerous patient complaints against Archibald from 1960 to 1974. In addition, Rockefeller had information that while Archibald was still practicing, he “may have been engaged in misconduct and inappropriate and unnecessarily intrusive examinations of at least some of his patients.
Despite these numerous complaints and warning signs, Rockefeller disregarded and discounted the sexual abuse and continued to protect the reputations of the hospital as well Archibald.
Child Victims Act
The Child Victims Act, or CVA, extends the statute of limitations for future acts of child sexual abuse so that victims have until the age of 55 to bring suit. The statute for criminal prosecution changed as well, adding five years to the window of time within which charges can be brought.
The CVA also carves out a one-year window, from August 14, 2019 to August 14, 2020, allowing a one time “look back” window of opportunity to file civil claims where the statute of limitations has already passed. This means regardless of how long ago you were sexually abused, you are have until August 14, 2020 to file a civil lawsuit.
If you or a loved one is the victim of child sexual abuse, you need to know how the Child Victims Act can help you get the justice you deserve. For more information or to better understand how this law can help you, please call our professional help center at 212-385-4410.