Bill would extend time sex abuse victims have to sue

Chris Rizo Mar. 23, 2009, 4:57pm

Andy Olson (R)

SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregonians would have longer to sue in civil court for damages related to sexual abuse, under legislation pending in the state House.

The proposal, outlined in House Bill 2827, would extend the civil statute of limitations on child sexual abuse claims.

State Rep. Andy Olson, R-Albany, said his proposal would allow more victims to "hold their abusers accountable in civil court."

If enacted, the legislation would allow alleged victims to sue anytime before they turn 40-years-old or no more than five years from the date they discovered the connection between past abuse and current physical or emotional injuries.

"Many people don't fully recognize or accept injuries from sexual abuse until later in life," Olson said in a statement. "Currently, many victims who have become adults don't have any legal avenue due to the amount of time that has passed."

Currently, Oregon law says that lawsuits can't be filed after the victim has reached 24-years-old or no more than three years after they've discovered injuries due to past abuse.

"Many victims feel they have moved on from the past abuse, even though the abuse directly contributed to the severe pain and injuries they've experienced as adults," Olson said. "These injuries have affected relationships with their families and their ability to earn a living."

Olson, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the bill would allow alleged victims to seek "remedies they deserve, and perhaps seek some closure for the abuse they suffered as children."

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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