New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which created a one-year suspension of the usual time limit to sue over alleged sexual assault, has resulted in over 2,500 lawsuits being filed so far. While some lawsuits targeted employers and institutions accused of failing to prevent abuse, the majority have been filed against the state, New York City, and local counties, involving allegations of abuse in state prisons and local jail systems.
The Adult Survivors Act allowed survivors of sexual abuse to seek accountability from powerful individuals and institutions. Lawsuits have been filed against notable figures such as Donald Trump, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Russell Brand. The act was modeled after a previous New York law that offered a temporary window for people abused as children to file claims.
The surge of lawsuits has shed light on the widespread issue of sexual assaults in prisons and jails. Attorneys have filed over 1,200 claims alleging abuse in state prisons and more than 470 alleging abuse at New York City’s Rikers Island complex. Survivors hope that these lawsuits will bring about change and prevent future incidents.
Medical providers have also faced lawsuits over abusive doctors. Attorney Mallory Allen is representing over 100 men who claim they were sexually assaulted by urologist Dr. Darius Paduch. Paduch is also facing criminal charges related to the alleged abuse.
Survivors have emphasized the importance of being heard and seeking justice. However, after Thanksgiving, the window for filing lawsuits under the Adult Survivors Act will close, barring people from suing over abuse that occurred many years ago.
Both the state and city corrections departments have denied the allegations in court filings and sought dismissal of the lawsuits. Medical providers have not yet responded to the lawsuits.