When Baltimore children are injured, the effects of the injury can last a lifetime in certain instances. This includes not only physical child injury, but other forms of injuries as well that can result in permanent injury, including sexual abuse perpetrated by another person.
Yet, even though the injury itself can be permanent, victims must recognize that a lawsuit for compensation against the individual who caused the injury needs to be brought within a certain time. This timeframe, known as the statute of limitations, is one of the basic requirements that must be met in any civil lawsuit, and can result in the dismissal of a case if it is not followed.
For instance, as discussed previously in this blog, Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash was sued by a number of men who claimed Clash sexually abused them when they were minors. Three of these suits were recently thrown out, however, after a judge determined the men failed to follow the statute of limitations.
In Clash's case, the judge concluded a person had six years after the injury, or three years after the minor turned 21, by which to file a claim. Because the three men had failed to file their claims within that time period, despite knowing of the facts that allowed them to file claims during the period, the judge dismissed their lawsuits.
The case is an important reminder for anyone who is injured at the hands of another that it is essential that a lawsuit is filed in a timely manner after the injury occurs. Alternatively, it is essential that after a person discovers an injury, that the person file the lawsuit. While there may be some arguments to oppose the application of a particular statute of limitations in some circumstances, for the most part, individuals should consult with an attorney as soon as they can to ensure their claims are filed in a timely manner, so that their case can proceed and they can be compensated for their injuries.
Source: NBC News, "Judge dismisses three lawsuits against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash," Marla Elena Fernandez, Jul. 1, 2013