ASSEMBLY, No. 853

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  ANNETTE QUIJANO

District 20 (Union)

Assemblywoman  L. GRACE SPENCER

District 29 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Extends statute of limitations in certain civil actions for sexual abuse; expands the categories of potentially liable defendants; and revives certain actions.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning certain civil actions alleging sexual abuse, amending various parts of the statutory law and supplementing Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.2A:14-2 is amended to read as follows:

     2A:14-2. a. [Every] Except as provided in subsections b. and c. of this section, every action at law for an injury to the person caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of any person within this State shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of any such action shall have accrued[; except that an action by or on behalf of a minor that has accrued for medical malpractice for injuries sustained at birth shall be commenced prior to the minor's 13th birthday].

     b.    (1) An action by or on behalf of a minor that has accrued for medical malpractice for injuries sustained at birth shall be commenced prior to the minor's 13th birthday.

     (2)   In the event that an action by or on behalf of a minor that has accrued for medical malpractice for injuries sustained at birth is not commenced by the minor's parent or guardian prior to the minor's 12th birthday, the minor or a person 18 years of age or older designated by the minor to act on the minor's behalf may commence such an action.  For this purpose, the minor or designated person may petition the court for the appointment of a guardian ad litem to act on the minor's behalf.

     c.     (1) An action for damages arising from an injury committed against a person under the age of 18 that occurred on or after the effective date of P.L.    , c .    (C.          ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) brought pursuant to or described in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1), paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7), or P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.) shall be commenced within 30 years after the minor reaches the age of majority.

     (2)   An action for damages arising from an injury that occurred prior to the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.          ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) brought pursuant to or described in  section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1), paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7), or P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.) shall be commenced within 10 years from the date of reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act; except that an action for damages arising from an injury committed against a person under the age of
18 that occurred prior to the effective date of P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be commenced within 10 years after that minor reaches the age of majority, or within 10 years from the date of reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act, whichever date is later.

     Nothing in this section is intended to preclude the court from finding that the statute of limitations was tolled in action because of the plaintiff's mental state, duress by the defendant, or any other equitable grounds.  Such a finding shall be made after a plenary hearing.  At the plenary hearing the court shall hear all credible evidence and the Rules of Evidence shall not apply, except for Rule 403 or a valid claim of privilege.

(cf: P.L.2004, c.17, s.3)

 

     2.    Section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  No nonprofit corporation, society or association organized exclusively for religious, charitable or educational purposes or its trustees, directors, officers, employees, agents, servants or volunteers shall, except as is hereinafter set forth, be liable to respond in damages to any person who shall suffer damage from the negligence of any agent or servant of such corporation, society or association, where such person is a beneficiary, to whatever degree, of the works of such nonprofit corporation, society or association; provided, however, that such immunity from liability shall not extend to any person who shall suffer damage from the negligence of such corporation, society, or association or of its agents or servants where such person is one unconcerned in and unrelated to and outside of the benefactions of such corporation, society or association.

     Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to grant immunity to any health care provider, in the practice of his profession, who is a compensated employee, agent or servant of any nonprofit corporation, society or association organized exclusively for religious, charitable or educational purposes.

     b.    No nonprofit corporation, society or association organized exclusively for hospital purposes or its trustees, directors, officers or volunteers shall, except as is hereinafter set forth, be liable to respond in damages to any person who shall suffer damage from the negligence of any agent or servant of such corporation, society or association, where such person is a beneficiary, to whatever degree, of the works of such nonprofit corporation, society or association; provided, however, that such immunity from liability shall not extend to any person who shall suffer damage from the negligence of such corporation, society, or association or of its agents or servants where such person is one unconcerned in and unrelated to and outside of the benefactions of such corporation, society or association; but nothing herein contained shall be deemed to exempt the agent, employee or servant individually from their liability for any such negligence.

     c.     Nothing in this section shall be deemed to grant immunity to: (1) (a) any trustee, director, officer, employee, agent, servant or volunteer of a nonprofit corporation, society or association organized exclusively for religious, charitable, educational or hospital purposes causing damage by a willful, wanton or grossly negligent act of commission or omission, including sexual assault [and] , any other [crimes] crime of a sexual nature or sexual abuse as defined in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1); or

     (b)   any trustee, director, officer, employee, agent, servant or volunteer of a nonprofit corporation, society or association organized exclusively for religious, charitable, educational or hospital purposes causing damage by  any negligent act resulting in the commission of sexual assault, any other crime of a sexual nature or sexual abuse as defined in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1) if the trustee, director, officer, employee, agent, servant or volunteer had a supervisory or oversight role over the person committing the act of sexual assault, any other crime of a sexual nature or sexual abuse as defined in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1); or

     (c)   any nonprofit corporation, society or association organized exclusively for religious, charitable, educational or hospital purposes causing damage by a willful, wanton or grossly negligent act of commission or omission, including sexual assault, any other crime of a sexual nature or sexual abuse as defined in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1); or

     (2)   any trustee, director, officer, employee, agent, servant or volunteer of a nonprofit corporation, society or association organized exclusively for religious, charitable, educational or hospital purposes causing damage as the result of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle; or

     (3)   an independent contractor of a nonprofit corporation, society or association organized exclusively for religious, charitable, educational or hospital purposes.

(cf: P.L.1995, c.183, s.1)

 

     3.    Section 2 of P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.5) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    a. The provisions of this supplementary act, P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.), shall apply prospectively and also shall be applicable to all civil actions for which the statute of limitations has not expired as of the effective date of this act, including the statutes of limitation set forth in N.J.S.2A:14-2, section 1 of P.L.1964, c.214 (C.2A:14-2.1), section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1) or any other statute. These applicable actions include but are not limited to matters filed with a court that have not yet been dismissed or finally adjudicated as of the effective date of this act.

     b.    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, any civil action brought pursuant to P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.) for which the injury occurred on or after the effective date of P.L.    , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2A:14-2 as added by P.L.     , c.     (C.          ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) which sets forth a statute of limitations requiring that the action for damages be commenced within 30 years after the minor reaches the age of majority, and section 5 of P.L.    , c.     (C.          ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.2005, c.264, s.2)

 

     4.    Section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  As used in this act:

     (1)   "Sexual abuse" means an act of sexual contact or sexual penetration between a child under the age of 18 years and an adult. A parent, resource family parent, guardian or other person [standing in loco parentis within the household] who knowingly permits or acquiesces in sexual abuse by any other person also commits sexual abuse, except that it is an affirmative defense if the parent, resource family parent, guardian or other person [standing in loco parentis] was subjected to, or placed in, reasonable fear of physical or sexual abuse by the other person so as to undermine the person's ability to protect the child.

     (2)   "Sexual contact" means an intentional touching by the victim or actor, either directly or through clothing, of the victim's or actor's intimate parts for the purpose of sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the actor.  Sexual contact of the adult with himself must be in view of the victim whom the adult knows to be present.

     (3)   "Sexual penetration" means vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse between persons or insertion of the hand, finger or object into the anus or vagina either by the adult or upon the adult's instruction.

     (4)   "Intimate parts" means the following body parts: sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, groin, buttock or breast of a person.

     (5)   "Injury or illness" includes psychological injury or illness, whether or not accompanied by physical injury or illness.

     b.    In any civil action for damages for injury or illness based on sexual abuse, the cause of action [shall accrue at the time of reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act of sexual abuse.  Any such action shall be brought within two years after reasonable discovery] shall be brought pursuant to subsection c. of N.J.S.2A:14-2.

     c.     Nothing in this act is intended to preclude the court from finding that the statute of limitations was tolled in a case because of the plaintiff's mental state, duress by the defendant, or any other equitable grounds.  Such a finding shall be made after a plenary hearing.  At the plenary hearing the court shall hear all credible evidence and the Rules of Evidence shall not apply, except for Rule 403 or a valid claim of privilege.  The court may order an independent psychiatric evaluation of the plaintiff in order to assist in the determination as to whether the statute of limitations was tolled.

     d.    (1)  Evidence of the victim's previous sexual conduct shall not be admitted nor reference made to it in the presence of a jury except as provided in this subsection.  When the defendant seeks to admit such evidence for any purpose, the defendant must apply for an order of the court before the trial or preliminary hearing, except that the court may allow the motion to be made during trial if the court determines that the evidence is newly discovered and could not have been obtained earlier through the exercise of due diligence. After the application is made, the court shall conduct a hearing in camera to determine the admissibility of the evidence.  If the court finds that evidence offered by the defendant regarding the sexual conduct of the victim is relevant and that the probative value of the evidence offered is not outweighed by its collateral nature or by the probability that its admission will create undue prejudice, confusion of the issues, or unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the victim, the court shall enter an order setting forth with specificity what evidence may be introduced and the nature of the questions which shall be permitted, and the reasons why the court finds that such evidence satisfies the standards contained in this section.  The defendant may then offer evidence under the order of the court.

     (2)   In the absence of clear and convincing proof to the contrary, evidence of the victim's sexual conduct occurring more than one year before the date of the offense charged is presumed to be inadmissible under this section.

     (3)   Evidence of the victim's previous sexual conduct shall not be considered relevant unless it is material to proving that the source of semen, pregnancy or disease is a person other than the defendant.  For the purposes of this subsection, "sexual conduct" shall mean any conduct or behavior relating to sexual activities of the victim, including but not limited to previous or subsequent experience of sexual penetration or sexual contact, use of contraceptives, living arrangement and life style.

     e.     (1)  The court may, on motion and after conducting a hearing in camera, order the taking of the testimony of a victim on closed circuit television at the trial, out of the view of the jury, defendant, or spectators upon making findings as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection.

     (2)   An order under this section may be made only if the court finds that the victim is 16 years of age or younger and that there is a substantial likelihood that the victim would suffer severe emotional or mental distress if required to testify in open court. The order shall be specific as to whether the victim will testify outside the presence of spectators, the defendant, the jury, or all of them and shall be based on specific findings relating to the impact of the presence of each.

     (3)   A motion seeking closed circuit testimony under paragraph (1) of this subsection may be filed by:

     (a)   The victim or the victim's attorney, parent or legal guardian;

     (b)   The defendant or the defendant's counsel; or

     (c)   The trial judge on the judge's own motion.

     (4)   The defendant's counsel shall be present at the taking of testimony in camera.  If the defendant is not present, he and his attorney shall be able to confer privately with each other during the testimony by a separate audio system.

     (5)   If testimony is taken on closed circuit television pursuant to the provisions of this act, a stenographic recording of that testimony shall also be required.  A typewritten transcript of that testimony shall be included in the record on appeal.  The closed circuit testimony itself shall not constitute part of the record on appeal except on motion for good cause shown.

     f.     (1)  The name, address, and identity of a victim or a defendant shall not appear on the complaint or any other public record as defined in P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.).  In their place initials or a fictitious name shall appear.

     (2)   Any report, statement, photograph, court document, complaint or any other public record which states the name, address and identity of a victim shall be confidential and unavailable to the public.

     (3)   The information described in this subsection shall remain confidential and unavailable to the public unless the victim consents to the disclosure or if the court, after a hearing, determines that good cause exists for the disclosure.  The hearing shall be held after notice has been made to the victim and to the defendant and the defendant's counsel.

     (4)   Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the court from imposing further restrictions with regard to the disclosure of the name, address, and identity of the victim when it deems it necessary to prevent trauma or stigma to the victim.

     g.    In accordance with R.5:3-2 of the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey, the court may, on its own or a party's motion, direct that any proceeding or portion of a proceeding involving a victim sixteen years of age or younger be conducted in camera.

     h.    A plaintiff who prevails in a civil action pursuant to this act shall be awarded damages in the amount of $10,000, plus reasonable attorney's fees, or actual damages, whichever is greater.  Actual damages shall consist of compensatory and punitive damages and costs of suit, including reasonable attorney's fees.  Compensatory damages may include, but are not limited to, damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, emotional trauma, diminished childhood, diminished enjoyment of life, costs of counseling, and lost wages.

(cf: P.L.2004, c.130, s.10)

 

     5.    (New section)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, including but not limited to the “New Jersey Tort Claims Act," N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq., a public entity is liable in an action for damages brought pursuant to or described in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1), paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7) or P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.).

 

     6.    (New section) Notwithstanding the statute of limitations provisions of N.J.S.2A:14-2, a civil action for damages arising from an injury against a person under the age of 18 years that occurred prior to the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) brought pursuant to or described in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1), paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7), or P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.), which would otherwise be barred before the effective date of P.L.     , c.      (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), may be commenced within two years immediately following the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill). These civil actions may include actions that were barred or dismissed, or would have been barred or dismissed because the applicable statute of limitations had expired.  Matters that were finally adjudicated prior to the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) on grounds other than the expiration of the statute of  limitations  shall not be permitted pursuant to this section.

     b.    Civil actions brought under subsection a. of this section may include civil actions brought pursuant to the provisions of subparagraphs (a), (b), or (c) of paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7) as amended by P.L.    , c.     (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     7.    (New section) Notwithstanding the statute of limitations provisions of N.J.S.2A:14-2, a civil action for damages arising from an injury that occurred prior to the effective date of P.L.    , c.            (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)  brought pursuant to or described in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1), paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7), or P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.) may be commenced within 10 years from the date of reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act; except that an action for damages arising from an injury committed against a person under the age of 18 that occurred prior to the effective date of P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be commenced within 10 years after that minor reaches the age of majority, or within 10 years from the date of reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act, whichever date is later.

     b.    Civil actions brought under subsection a. of this section may include civil actions brought pursuant to the provisions of subparagraphs (a), (b), or (c) of paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7) as amended by P.L.    , c.     (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     8.    This act shall take effect immediately. This act shall also revive any action previously filed that was dismissed on grounds that the applicable statute of limitations had expired, but shall not revive any action previously dismissed on any other grounds or revive any action that has been finally adjudicated. This act shall also apply to actions filed with a court that have not yet been dismissed or finally adjudicated as of the effective date of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would extend the statute of limitations in civil actions for sexual abuse, expand the categories of defendants who are potentially liable in these actions, and codify the liability of public entities in these actions.  The bill would also revive certain actions for a set period of time.

     Statute of Limitations. Currently, N.J.S.2A:14-2 provides that personal injury suits must be commenced within two years of accrual of the cause of action, except for certain medical malpractice actions on behalf of minors.

     This bill would provide for another exception to this two-year statute of limitations.  The bill would establish a 30 year statute of limitations for actions for damages arising from an injury committed against a person under the age of 18 that occurred on or after the effective date of the bill brought pursuant to or described in:

·       P.L.1992, c.109, s.1 (C.2A:61B-1) (sexual abuse of a child);

·       paragraph (1) of subsection c. of P.L.1959, c.90, s.1 (C.2A:53A-7) (certain actions against a nonprofit corporation, society or association, or various individuals related thereto, organized exclusively for religious, charitable, educational or hospital purposes); and

·       P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.) (certain actions alleging negligent hiring, supervision or retention of an employee, agent or servant of these organizations).

     These actions could be commenced within 30 years after the minor reaches the age of majority.

     In addition to the 30 year statute of limitations, this bill would provide for another exception to the two-year statute of limitations for an injury that occurred prior to the effective date of the bill. Under the bill, an action for damages from an injury that occurred prior to the effective date of the bill brought pursuant to or described in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1), paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7), or P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.) could be commenced within 10 years from the date of reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act; except that an action for damages arising from an injury committed against a person under the age of 18 that occurred prior to the effective date of the bill shall be commenced within 10 years after that minor reaches the age of majority, or within 10 years from the date of reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act, whichever date is later.

     Nothing in this bill would preclude the court from finding that the statute of limitations was tolled in action because of the plaintiff's mental state, duress by the defendant, or any other equitable grounds.  Such a finding would be made after a plenary hearing.  At the plenary hearing the court would hear all credible evidence and the Rules of Evidence would not apply, except for Rule 403 or a valid claim of privilege. Rule 403 provides that relevant evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the risk of undue prejudice, confusion of issues, or misleading the jury or undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.

     Charitable Immunity Act: Gross Negligence by Trustees, Employees and Other Individuals. Under current law, the trustees, directors, officers, employees, agents, servants or volunteers of nonprofit corporations, societies or associations organized exclusively for religious, charitable, educational or hospital purposes are liable for willful, wanton, or grossly negligent acts of commission or omission, including sexual assault or other crimes of a sexual nature.  The bill expands this liability to include sexual abuse as defined in P.L.1992, c.109, s.1 (C.2A:61B-1).

     Charitable Immunity Act: Negligent Supervision by Trustees, Employees and Other Individuals. The bill would expand the current law by imposing liability for the individuals’ negligence under certain circumstances.  Under the bill, any trustee, director, officer, employee, agent, servant or volunteer of a nonprofit corporation, society or association organized exclusively for religious, charitable, educational or hospital purposes causing damage by any negligent act resulting in the commission of sexual assault, any other crime of a sexual nature or sexual abuse as defined in P.L.1992, c.109, s.1 (C.2A:61B-1) would be liable if that person had a supervisory or oversight role over the person committing the act.

     Charitable Immunity Act: Gross Negligence by Organizations. The bill would expand the current law by imposing liability on these nonprofit organizations for any willful, wanton, or grossly negligent act of commission or omission, including sexual assault, any other crime of a sexual nature or sexual abuse as defined in P.L.1992, c.109, s.1 (C.2A:61B-1).

     Negligent Hiring, Supervision or Retention under the Charitable Immunity Act. This bill would amend P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.) concerning actions alleging negligent hiring, supervision, or retention, to provide that, with respect to an injury occurring on or after the effective date of the bill, a cause of action would be subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection c. of N.J.S.2A:14-2 (as amended by the bill) which sets forth a new statute of limitations permitting actions to be commenced within 30 years after the minor reaches the age of majority.

     Child Sexual Abuse Act.   The bill would expand the category of persons who are potentially liable in any civil action alleging the sexual abuse of a child brought pursuant to P.L.1992, c.109, s.1 (C.2A:61B-1). Under current law, in addition to the person who committed the sexual abuse, a parent, resource family parent (i.e., foster parent), guardian or other person standing in loco parentis within the household who knowingly permitted or acquiesced in the sexual abuse is also civilly liable for the abuse. The bill provides that any person who knowingly permitted or acquiesced in the sexual abuse would be civilly liable. In addition, the bill amends this section to cross reference N.J.S.2A:14-2 (as amended by the bill) which sets forth the new statute of limitations.

     Public Entities. The bill would provide that, notwithstanding the provisions of the “New Jersey Tort Claims Act,” N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq., or any other law, public entities would be liable in actions for damages alleging the sexual abuse of a child brought pursuant to P.L.1992, c.109, s.1 (C.2A:61B-1), paragraph (1) of subsection c. of P.L.1959, c.90, s.1 (C.2A:53A-7), or P.L.2005, c.264, s.1 (C.2A:53A-7.4).

     Certain Time-Barred Actions.  The bill establishes two potential opportunities to present a claim for certain actions where the injury occurred prior to the effective date of the bill: (1) a “two-year window”; and (2) a “10-year reasonable discovery period.”

     An action brought pursuant to or described in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1), paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7), or P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.) may be commenced within two years immediately following the effective date of the bill, referred to herein as a “two-year window,” for damages arising from an injury against a person under the age of 18 that occurred prior to the effective date of the bill.  These actions may include actions that were barred or dismissed, or would have been barred or dismissed because the applicable statute of limitations had expired. Matters that were finally adjudicated prior to the effective date of the bill on grounds other than the expiration of the statute of limitations would not be permitted in this two-year window.

     An action brought pursuant to or described in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.109 (C.2A:61B-1), paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7), or P.L.2005, c.264 (C.2A:53A-7.4 et seq.) for damages arising from an injury that occurred prior to the effective date of the bill may be commenced within 10 years from the date of reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act; except that an action for damages arising from an injury committed against a person under the age of 18 that occurred prior to the effective date of P.L.    ,         c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be commenced within 10 years after that minor reaches the age of majority, or within 10 years from the date of reasonable discovery of the injury and its causal relationship to the act, whichever date is later.

     In addition, regarding the “two-year window” and the “10-year reasonable discovery” period, any claim for an injury that occurred prior to the effective date of the bill may include the newly created actions brought under the provisions of subparagraphs (a), (b), or (c) of paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1959, c.90 (C.2A:53A-7) as added by the bill. These actions include: (a) willful, wanton or gross negligence by the trustees, employees and other individuals; (b) negligence by these individuals resulting in the commission of the act if they had a supervisory or oversight role over the person committing the act; and (c) willful, wanton or gross negligence by the nonprofit corporation, society or association.

     It should be noted that the two-year window is intended to be widely available and does not involve consideration of when the injury was discovered. However, individual plaintiffs will need to take the date of discovery into consideration, because, there may be individuals who, due to a date of reasonable discovery further back in time, may not be able to bring an action applying the 10-year “reasonable discovery” period and therefore these plaintiffs will only be able to pursue their claims during the two-year window which expires two years after the effective date of the bill.

     Effective Date. This bill would take effect immediately. This bill would also revive any action previously filed that was dismissed on grounds that the applicable statute of limitations had expired, but shall not revive any action previously dismissed on any other grounds or revive any action that has been finally adjudicated. This bill would also apply to actions filed with a court that have not yet been dismissed or finally adjudicated as of the effective date of the bill.