Why year-long extension of Child Victims Act won’t apply to Diocese of Rochester


August 3, 2020

By Jane Flasch

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Monday, extending the deadline for people to file claims against alleged abusers under the Child Victims Act until August 14, 2021.

The deadline was previously set to expire on August 13, 2020.

Attorneys say the extension will not apply to anyone suing the Rochester Catholic Diocese.

“The bankruptcy judge ruled just last week the deadline remains August 13 of this summer,” said Attorney Steve Boyd, who represents clients suing the diocese.

The Rochester Diocese is an exception, in part, because it filed for bankruptcy last year. CVA lawsuits are handled by a federal bankruptcy judge – along with all other creditors making claims. A ruling by the judge last weeks makes the diocese here the one exception to the extension.

The Child Victims Act provides a one-year window for survivors of abuse to file claims, regardless of when the statute of limitations may have expired. On the first day – nearly one year ago – 38 lawsuits were filed in Monroe County. Attorneys say, to date, there are at least 225 naming the Rochester Catholic Diocese.

Those victims are grouped together, their cases moved to federal court when the diocese filed for bankruptcy. That makes them different than other cases which are being handled in state courts.

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