Michael Lamonsoff Interviewed by Multiple Outlets About His Opinion on Extending the Expiring Adult Survivors Act
As the deadline for New York's Adult Survivors Act (ASA) looms, Michael Lamonsoff, a leading New York personal injury lawyer, joins lawmakers and survivors in advocating for an extension in interviews by Yahoo! Finance, The Lawton Constitution and Spectrum1 News. The ASA, signed into law in May 2022 by Governor Kathy Hochul, has been a significant step forward for survivors of sexual abuse over the age of 18, allowing them to sue their abusers irrespective of the time elapsed since the abuse.
The law, which is set to expire on Thanksgiving Day, has seen a massive influx of cases, with attorneys like Lamonsoff handling a substantial number of them. Mr. Lamonsoff has expressed concern over the one-year window, emphasizing that it is insufficient for the overwhelming number of cases coming in, especially towards the deadline. He highlights the therapeutic impact of these lawsuits for survivors, transforming feelings of helplessness into empowerment.
"Survivors go through a lot before they come to the conclusion that it's not their fault, they did nothing wrong and they want to do something about it”.
"We're talking about cases that could be 30 years old, so many survivors are not going to survive their own lawsuits, and that to me is a travesty of justice." - Michael S. Lamonsoff
Both sponsors of the ASA, Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, have expressed their support for extending the lookback period by an additional year. They recognize the critical need for such an extension, given the more than 2,500 cases filed so far and the expectation of a surge in filings as the deadline approaches.
Rosenthal acknowledged the voices of many survivors who desire their day in court but were unaware of the one-year window, further underscoring the necessity of an extension. Mr. Lamonsoff supports this extension, arguing that the law was inadequately publicized and pointing out the long process survivors go through before deciding to file a case.
He emphasizes the state's responsibility in ensuring survivors are aware of their rights and suggests dedicating part of the state Supreme Court to handle these cases more efficiently. Mr. Lamonsoff poignantly notes that some survivors might not survive long enough to see their lawsuits resolved.
In conclusion, the call for extending the ASA represents a collective understanding of the complexities surrounding sexual trauma and the need for a legal framework that accommodates these challenges. Mr. Lamonsoff’s advocacy, along with that of lawmakers and survivors, highlights an urgent need for continued support and accessible legal avenues for those seeking justice for past abuses.