New Yorkers who suffered sexual abuse as children were left without a way to seek justice for decades. Last year, New York passed a law that allows child victims of sexual abuse to bring claims against their abusers (and the institutions the abuser worked for) even if the lawsuit would otherwise be too late sue because of a statute of limitations.

The Child Victims Act (CVA) became effective in August 2019, and it includes a “look back” period that allows victims to sue their abusers no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. When it passed, this look back in the law was open for one year, requiring that any lawsuit under the CVA be filed by August 14, 2020. Due to COVID-19, that deadline has now been extended to January 14, 2021.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today that he will extend the look back in the CVA by five months, giving survivors of child sex abuse more time to file lawsuits. While there had been talk about extending the look back even before COVID-19, the Governor said:

“Because of the reduction in court services, we want to extend that window and we’ll extend it for an additional five months until January 14th because people need access to the courts to make their claim. Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

At The Coppola Firm, we know how difficult it can be for victims to come forward, and we’re here to help. Fortunately, this extended look back period allows those who have been denied justice for so many years to have their voices heard without worry about COVID-19-related court delays affecting their cases.

If you’d like to discuss a claim of sexual abuse in a compassionate and confidential setting, please contact our office at or 716-839-9700.