S-1551.1          _______________________________________________


                                 SENATE BILL 5811



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senators Nelson and Rasmussen.


Read first time February 21, 1991.  Referred to Committee on Law & Justice.Clarifying the application of the statute of limitations to actions based on childhood sexual abuse.

     AN ACT Relating to application of the statute of limitations to actions based on childhood sexual abuse; amending RCW 4.16.340; and creating a new section.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.      The legislature finds that:

     (1) Childhood sexual abuse is a pervasive problem that affects the safety and well-being of many of our citizens;

     (2) Childhood sexual abuse is a traumatic experience for the victim; and

     (3) The victim of childhood sexual abuse may repress the memory of the abuse or be unable to connect the abuse to any injury until after the statute of limitations has run.

     Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to explicitly reverse the Washington Supreme Court decision in Tyson v. Tyson, 107 Wn.2d 72, 727 P.2d 226.


     Sec. 2.  RCW 4.16.340 and 1989 c 317 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

     (1) All claims or causes of action based on intentional conduct brought by any person for recovery of damages for injury suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse shall be commenced within three years of the act alleged to have caused the injury or condition, or three years of the time the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered that the act caused substantial injury to the victim and the injury or condition was caused by said act, whichever period expires later:  PROVIDED, That the time limit for commencement of an action under this section is tolled for a child until the child reaches the age of eighteen years.

     (2) The victim need not establish which act in a series of continuing sexual abuse or exploitation incidents caused the injury complained of, but may compute the date of discovery from the date of discovery of the last act by the same perpetrator which is part of a common scheme or plan of sexual abuse or exploitation.

     (3) The knowledge of a custodial parent or guardian shall not be imputed to a person under the age of eighteen years.

     (4) For purposes of this section, "child" means a person under the age of eighteen years.

     (5) As used in this section, "childhood sexual abuse" means any act committed by the defendant against a complainant who was less than eighteen years of age at the time of the act and which act would have been a violation of chapter 9A.44 RCW or RCW 9.68A.040 or prior laws of similar effect at the time the act was committed.