LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY

Murphy signs bill extending statute of limitations for sex abuse claims

A new law will ease restrictions on when victims of sex abuse can seek damages in court.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Monday that significantly extends the statute of limitations in civil actions from two years to seven years.

It also provides parties who would still be time-barred under the new law a two-year window from the statute’s effective date of Dec. 1, 2019 to file claims.

The measure also allows any institutions or person who knowingly permitted sexual abuse or protected a sexual abuser to be held civilly liable.

In addition, if an incident of sexual assault occurred before the victim turned 18, that person would be able to file a claim up to seven years after the assault was discovered or up until age 55.