Negligence / Personal Injury
3 Years

The following actions must be commenced within three years:
5. an action to recover damages for a personal injury except as provided in sections 214-b, 214-c and 215; N.Y. C.P.L.R. 214

Sexual Abuse

The present state of New York’s statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases is summed up by the National Conference of State Legislatures as follows:  “In New York, there is no extended statute of limitations for sexual abuse; however, if the abuse is treated as an intentional tort, New York's SOL is one year. N.Y. Civil Prac. Law § 215. If the victim brings a claim against a church or school which administered the perpetrator, or any action that is based in negligence, rather than criminal behavior, the SOL is 3 years—N.Y. Civil Prac. Law § 214. New York adopted a special statute of limitations for victims of sexual crimes in 2006—N.Y. Civil Prac. Law §213-c. The statute provides that actions for civil damages for defined sexual crimes, including sexual abuse of a minor, may be brought within 5 years of the acts constituting the sexual offense.” 

A proposed law, known as the “Child Sexual Abuse Reform Act,” [A.01042 (Prestlow)] would amend  the CPLR by adding a section 213-d which would extend the SOL from 3 to 6 years the time in which to bring an action where the plaintiff was disabled as a result of infancy/insanity at the time the action accrued.  It would also add a revival statute of 2 years as to any action that  had been previously barred by the SOL.  On January 9, 2013, it was referred to the Codes Committee.  It is a one-house bill, with no comparable Senate bill.   Another bill, A.04008 (Gabyszak), with multi-sponsors, proposes the addition of section 214-f to the CPLR, which would extend the SOL to 15 years of the act, beginning after the present tolling period for infancy or after the reporting of the incident, whichever is earlier.  This bill has been introduced in legislative sessions from 2003 through 2009.  It was introduced on January 30, 2013, and referred to Codes.

Toxic Tort
1 Year Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions two and three of this section, where the discovery of the cause of the injury is alleged to have occurred less than five years after discovery of the injury or when with reasonable diligence such injury should have been discovered, whichever is earlier, an action may be commenced or a claim filed within one year of such discovery of the cause of the injury; provided, however, if any such action is commenced or claim filed after the period in which it would otherwise have been authorized pursuant to subdivision two or three of this section the plaintiff or claimant shall be required to allege and prove that technical, scientific or medical knowledge and information sufficient to ascertain the cause of his injury had not been discovered, identified or determined prior to the expiration of the period within which the action or claim would have been authorized and that he has otherwise satisfied the requirements of subdivisions two and three of this section. N.Y. C.P.L.R. 214-c
Wrongful Death
2 Years The personal representative, duly appointed in this state or any other jurisdiction, of a decedent who is survived by distributees may maintain an action to recover damages for a wrongful act, neglect or default which caused the decedent's death against a person who would have been liable to the decedent by reason of such wrongful conduct if death had not ensued. Such an action must be commenced within two years after the decedent's death; provided, however, that an action on behalf of a decedent whose death was caused by the terrorist attacks on September eleventh, two thousand one, other than a decedent identified by the attorney general of the United States as a participant or conspirator in such attacks, must be commenced within two years and six months after the decedent's death. When the distributees do not participate in the administration of the decedent's estate under a will appointing an executor who refuses to bring such action, the distributees are entitled to have an administrator appointed to prosecute the action for their benefit. N.Y. Est. Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1
Medical Malpractice
2 Years An action for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice must be commenced within two years and six months of the act, omission or failure complained of or last treatment where there is continuous treatment for the same illness, injury or condition which gave rise to the said act, omission or failure; provided, however, that where the action is based upon the discovery of a foreign object in the body of the patient, the action may be commenced within one year of the date of such discovery or of the date of discovery of facts which would reasonably lead to such discovery, whichever is earlier. For the purpose of this section the term “continuous treatment” shall not include examinations undertaken at the request of the patient for the sole purpose of ascertaining the state of the patient's condition. For the purpose of this section the term “foreign object” shall not include a chemical compound, fixation device or prosthetic aid or device.
The course of treatment provided by the physician must be continuous, and must be for the same conditions or complaints underlying the plaintiff's medical malpractice claim, for purposes of tolling statute of limitations for medical malpractice claim under continuous treatment doctrine. McKinney's CPLR 214–a.
Products Liability
3 Years

The following actions must be commenced within three years:
5. an action to recover damages for a personal injury except as provided in sections 214-b, 214-c and 215; N.Y. C.P.L.R. 214


2. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 214, the three year period within which an action to recover damages for personal injury or injury to property caused by the latent effects of exposure to any substance or combination of substances, in any form, upon or within the body or upon or within property must be commenced shall be computed from the date of discovery of the injury by the plaintiff or from the date when through the exercise of reasonable diligence such injury should have been discovered by the plaintiff, whichever is earlier. N.Y. C.P.L.R. 214-c

6 Years The following actions must be commenced within six years:
8. an action based upon fraud; the time within which the action must be commenced shall be the greater of six years from the date the cause of action accrued or two years from the time the plaintiff or the person under whom the plaintiff claims discovered the fraud, or could with reasonable diligence have discovered it. N.Y. C.P.L.R. 213(8)
Municipal Liability/Sovereign Immunity
Require notice of claim within 90 days of occurrence and commencement of suit within 1 year and 90 days of occurrence. Other Notice of Claim provisions apply to different political subdivisions and actions against the State may only be brought in the Court of Claims where a judge alone (no jury).
Discovery Rule
See specific rules for medical malpractice, toxic exposure (varies by substance as per different statutes), products liability.
Comparative Negligence
Applies and diminishes plaintiff's recovery by degree of plaintiff's degree of fault.
Charitable Immunity
For infancy (18th birthday), incompetence, and insanity, statute runs from end of disability. Toll of 3 years, if SOL is 3 years or more. If SOL is less than 3 years, than it is extended by period of disability. For medical and dental malpractice, the maximum toll for an infant is 10 years.
Punitive Damages
Punitive damages may be awarded in cases of actual malice, or such wanton or reckless action as to infer malice or in personal injury actions based on negligence if such negligence amounts to flagrant misconduct. Separate trial held on the issue after a finding of liability and compensatory damages. Defendant's assets are placed in issue.
Attorneys’ Fees
In cases involving medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice, New York has enacted statutory limits on attorneys' fees that are far less than in all other types of cases. Normally, contingent attorneys' fees in New York are equal to 33 1/3% of the net recovery after the deduction of disbursements. Thus, in a typical case, if the net recovery is $3 million, the attorneys' fees would be $1 million (infant's cases may be different since the court sets the fee in such cases). In a medical malpractice case, however, the attorneys' fees would only be $450,000 since they are calculated on the following schedule: 30% of the first $250,000; 25% of the next $250,000; 20% of the next $500,000; 15% of the next $250,000; and only 10% of any amount over $1,250,000.
No-Fault Insurance
Consumer Fraud Complaint
New York Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection
800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)


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