It may surprise some of the stars who have come forward to accuse Hollywood’s directors, producers and other actors that the statute of limitations may not apply in some current sexual assault cases. While some attorneys may believe the statute is hard and fixed at two years, the Law Firm of Rivers J. Morrell has successfully defeated motions to dismiss based upon the statute. We have gone on to obtain successful outcomes for our clients in these cases.
If there has been a settlement agreement the case is concluded. However, if there was no settlement and something of value was given to make up for a sexual assault there may be a way to successfully pursue the case. For example, in one case the defendant offered to pay some of the medical bills and other expenses associated with the incident. This may apply if something of value was given as a token of apology or as a result of the sexual assault. This can include anything of value from a part in a production to a gift such as a cruise, vacation or any tangible gift. The exchange of something of value may toll the statute of limitations under California law if the defendant did not provide notice of the statute.
Many attorneys wrongfully conclude there is no case after the statute of limitations has passed. This is simply inaccurate. Once the plaintiff is made aware of the statute by the defendant or is given notice of the two year statute of limitations the period may begin. In many cases this never happened, and the gifts or other considerations given to “soften the blow” may actually toll the statute of limitations opening the defendant to an immediate lawsuit.
We are not offering a panacea or suggesting this applies in all cases, but it might apply to more than a few of the brave people who have come forward to bring these abuses to light. There may be circumstances where the statute of limitations may not apply as it has been inadvertently tolled by the defendant. If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, harassment, STD transmission or a case such as we’re reading about in the news and believe consideration as a way to make it up to you we invite you to contact us or call (949)305-1400 for a free, private and confidential consultation.