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New York’s New Child Violence Act and the Impact on a D&O Policy

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Fulfilling a promise to sign such a law in the new legislative session, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act back in February. This act will hold all abusers criminally and civilly liable for all damages incurred to the victim.

This Legislation also provides:

  • Increases the amount of time during which perpetrators of these crimes may be held criminally accountable;
  • Allows victims of these crimes to commence a civil lawsuit at any time before they reach 55 years of age;
  • Provides victims whose claims have been time-barred a new opportunity for their day in court by opening a one-year window for them to commence their action;
  • Eliminates the need to file a notice of claim for sexual offenses committed against a minor;
  • Requires judicial training with respect to crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors;
  • Authorizes the Office of Court Administration to promulgate rules and regulations for the timely adjudication of revived actions.[1]

From a Director’s and Officer’s standpoint, this forces companies to keep records of their conduct throughout the entire insurance process. Mike Smith, CEO at Axis Insurance Services had this to say. “It places responsibility on carriers to act fairly and preserve records which would lead to fair claims settlements. As brokers it puts an increased responsibility onto us to make sure we preserve all files which might be relevant to our insureds relating to claims that might come up.  So even though we or our clients may have a records retention policy, it doesn’t relieve us of the responsibility for a specific matter to retain records. Such responsibility will also fall on employers and others.”

Consult your provider to discuss any potential changes in your coverage.

 

[1] https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-signs-child-victims-act

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