Survivors of child molestation would have more time to file lawsuits against institutions that employed their abusers under a proposal making its way through the California Legislature.
Currently, most victims can file lawsuits against religious or civic institutions that employed their abusers until they turn age 26. But a court ruling prevented such suits by people who turned 26 before 2003 and discovered between 2005 and 2011 that the molestation caused injury or trauma.
The legislation by state Sen. James Beall Jr. (D-San Jose) would extend the statute of limitations for those victims.
“We are seeing adults who were molested when they were children coming forward but unable to bring their abusers to justice because of the existing statute of limitations,’’ Beall said in a statement.
In some cases, people don’t learn they were child abuse victims until they are older. In other cases, they may know they were abused, but a mental health person may not diagnose psychological injuries linked to the abuse, warranting a lawsuit seeking damages, until they are an adult, officials said.