NY - After hearing “statute of limitations” arguments from attorneys for both Yeshiva University and the plaintiffs in the $380M sexual abuse case against the school on October 27, U.S. District Court Judge John C. Koetl said he will rule in the coming months whether or not the case will go forward.
The JEWISH DAILY FORWARD reports that the Oct. 27 hearing centered around a motion by lawyers for YU to dismiss the case on grounds that the plaintiffs have exceeded the legal time frame for reporting child sex abuse under New York law.
The law currently states that an individual must report abuse before turning 23 many of the victims are now well into their 40s and 50s.
Kaern Bitar, a lawyer for YU, argued that the case should be dismissed not only because the statute of limitations has expired, but because since the abuse allegedly happened so long ago, that many of the defendants are either now deceased or have frail memories.
Bitar also charged the defendants with waiting “20 to 40 years to act,” saying that even then, they did so only after seeing the case go public.
Attorney Kevin Mulhearn, who represents 34 of the plaintiffs, argued that because YU officials repeatedly ignored the students’ reports of abuse many times to the point of actively promoting accused abusers as a way of solidifying their standing as men of “good character” that the students became unaware they had any kind of alternative legal remedy.
Mulhearn told the court that the heart of his clients’ case centers around whether the court was “willing to hold a school responsible for 25 to 30 years of cover-up.”
Mulhearn said because of the cover-up, the time table for the statute of limitations should be reset to 2012, the time when the case went public and his client’s realized they had legal options.