So I saw this in the paper today and I couldn't help but chuckle. These two seem to have craftily come up with an issue that can't be argued against. Well, hold on.
Let me explain what is really going on here.
The bill introduced by Assemblywoman Marge Markey, A02596, would extend the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse claims by five years. Currently, it allows for someone to sue up until the age of 23. This bill would extend the filing time to age to 28. It also would eliminate the statute of limitations all together for one year and allow suits dismissed for exceeding the statute of limitations to proceed.
What the press won't tell you is that the bill only applies to private institutions, like the church, boy scouts, etc. It does not apply to government-run programs or schools. As the Catholic paper, The Tablet, explains:
...as the New York State Catholic Conference has pointed out, it “does absolutely nothing to protect a single child in New York State from sexual abuse. Instead it is designed to enrich trial lawyers by targeting private institutions…”
The conference further stated, “It is unfair and bad public policy when governments exempt themselves from lawsuits of a kind that can bankrupt their private counterparts when engaged in exactly the same behavior.”
Studies have shown that public schools are the most frequent sites of sexual abuse outside the home and yet Markey’s bill would exempt them.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio in his Tablet column of July 5 explained that “…the (Markey) bill seems to distinguish between private and public institutions. This provision seems to strike at the heart of equity. Why then does Markey’s legislation allow for civil suits going back decades against the church but not include the necessary statutory amendments to permit victims in public schools” to file similar claims?
Now, it's well known that Statute of limitations laws are different when bringing claims against the government. Government agencies cannot be sued unless you file an administrative claim within the first 60 days after the injury. Typically, the government will deny your claim, and will inform you of the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. Nothing in this bill will change that.
Why doesn't the Post examine the meat of the proposed bill (and its insufficiencies) instead of what went on at a meeting at the bishop's house?
Bottom line is that Markey and Crowley do what their contributors tell them to do. If these "good Catholics" have to unfairly target the very church they claim to be so dedicated to in order to help out their trial attorney donors, then so be it.
Can you name a cause that Markey has so vociferously championed in the past? Of course you can't. She is scared she will have an opponent again next year and thinks this issue is a slam dunk because we are all stupid. Advise her otherwise.