Attorney Jed Dietrich Talks About the Child Victims Act
Alright, well let me tell you, everyone is buzzing, especially the legal community this morning about the Child Victim Act. It was passed and we have Jed Dietrich, who is a personal injury attorney, on this morning because as I said Jed this is a big story for everybody involved, not only the people who may have been victims but of course for the legal community, to kind of wrap themselves around this and see what this now means for the people involved.
So, good morning, nice to have you here. Good to see you again Linda, great day to be a Buffalonian. Tell me about this, the Child Victim Act. It is something that allows people who have been victimized in the past to have redress and the law has been changed, it has been retroactively changed, to allow people to bring claims that were not allowed because of the statute of limitations. For folks out there, the statute of limitations is the rule that means that you have to bring a claim within a certain number of years. So, that rule has been lifted for the next year and that is why certain claims have been made early this morning at 12:01, so Steve Boyd, my brother-in-law is going to be on the show in a few moments. He represents a number of people in this area and I also represent people in this area. It is a sad situation but I think it is a good situation because it will hold the proper parties accountable. For years and years and decades the Catholic church has wiped these things off and put them under the rug and now there could be exposure. There is an issue with whether or not the Catholic church will declare bankruptcy and if they do that, that could impact a victim’s ability to obtain information as to what happened in the past because one of the most important things about these cases is proving that the church or the entity school or Cub Scouts knew that there was a victimizer or a person who was perpetrating these horrible acts on young folks. So, what we are trying to do now is right a wrong and move forward in a way that protects people into the future. So, it is a situation where the churches, the schools, the
Cub Scouts are now going to be held accountable. Many of these entities have kept detailed records, in the state of Pennsylvania there was an Attorney General’s report people may have come to know about and that was a very important report because it has exposed the Catholic church and how they have kept detailed records. So those detailed records are now something that we are going to try to look into and see who they knew about who was a person who was a perpetrator.
Jed, in the past what was the statute of limitations for a case like this? For an intentional act in New York State, the statute of limitations is 1 year, for a negligent act, it is 3 years. Again, there will be questions as to negligence on behalf of the Catholic church in retaining or not looking into problems where there were reports of abuse but again this goes back to the notice provision. So, the statute of limitations has been lifted there is a 1-year zone that anyone can bring a claim – from at any time in the past? – Absolutely, but again, that does not change the fact that we have to talk about notice. So, the plaintiff and my office or Steve’s office has to prove that the entity that we are trying to hold accountable: Catholic church, Cub Scouts, a school system, know that there was a problem. Now again, there may be detailed records, we have to get into that, but one concern that we do have is that if there is a bankruptcy involved, certain protections come into play that disallow certain areas of discovery. So, we are fortunate in having this ability to move forward and that the law was changed in New York has expanded this, just like many other states and we are hoping that in the future less people are injured and that it does not happen again. Certainly. So, I am here at (716)839-3939 or www.calljed.com if you need me.