Insurance Coverage for Sexual Molestation Claims

New Jersey Alert

PUBLISHED ON: June 19, 2019

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In New Jersey, one of the chief problems afflicting sexual molestation victims attempting to seek redress from their tormenter has been the two-year statute of limitations for bodily injury claims. Many, if not most, molestation claims are made several years after the bodily injury first occurred; and while the two-year statute was ameliorated to some degree by the discovery rule, it still presented a major obstacle. That has now changed. The New Jersey legislature passed and Governor Murphy has now signed a new law greatly expanding the statute of limitations for claims of child sex abuse. As a result, New Jersey will likely experience an explosion of claims against everyone from clerics to teachers to scout troop leaders to pediatricians. These individuals will probably not be entitled to insurance coverage in most cases because of the intentional nature of the injury that they allegedly inflicted. Under New Jersey law, if the actions of the insured are egregious enough, the court will presume intent to cause harm.