The California House Judiciary Committee has just passed Senate Bill 131 by a margin of 8-2. The bill will now go to the entire California House of Representatives for a vote. The bill has previously passed the California Senate. If it is signed into law, the new bill would provide a one year revival window for any victim who was over the age of 26 in 2003 but had not made a causal connection between the sexual abuse and the cause of his or her injuries until after 2004.
The California Catholic Conference, assisted, we believe, by lobbyists for the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and perhaps even the Boy Scouts of America, has already stated its opposition to the proposed legislation by stating that it would hurt Catholic schools in California.
The bill would change the statute of limitations for suits against private schools and private employers who failed to take action against sexual abuse by employees or volunteers. The bill would allow alleged victims younger than 31 to sue employers of abusers and the present age limit for alleged victims is 26 years old. However, the bill also provides a one-year statutory window for victims older than the age limit to sue alleged negligent employers. This could result in many new abuse lawsuits concerning allegations dismissed after 2003, when the statute of limitation was previously suspended.