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New York opens yearlong window for victims to file past abuse claims

Man holding sign denouncing catholic church
An activist with sign denouncing the Catholic Church's alleged lack of response to the abuse of children by clergy. Photo: Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

More than 400 child sexual abuse lawsuits were filed in New York Wednesday, as the state started accepting cases previously barred by the statute of limitations, AP reports.

Why it matters: Institutions that have long cared for children, like the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, public school districts and hospitals, are girding for what could be a devastating financial blow. All such institutions were named in lawsuits filed Wednesday. A similar law, passed in California in 2002, resulted in Catholic dioceses there paying $1.2 billion in legal settlements.

The big picture: Under New York's Child Victims Act, New Yorkers have a 1-year window to file lawsuits concerning child sexual abuse.

  • Hundreds of people filed suits Wednesday against the Catholic Church or one of its several New York dioceses, per AP.

This article has been updated with details about lawsuits filed.

Go deeper: The stunning scale of the global Catholic sex abuse crisis