(a) A cause of action based upon the sexual abuse of a minor by an adult may be filed in the Superior Court of this State at any time following the commission of the act or acts that constituted the sexual abuse. A civil cause of action for sexual abuse of a minor shall be based upon sexual acts that would constitute a criminal offense under the Delaware Code.
Terms Used In Delaware Code Title 10 Sec. 8145
- Child: means a person who has not reached the age of 18 years. See Delaware Code Title 6 Sec. 4307
- Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
- Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- State: means the State of Delaware; and when applied to different parts of the United States, it includes the District of Columbia and the several territories and possessions of the United States. See Delaware Code Title 6 Sec. 4307
- Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
- Statute of limitations: A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.
- Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
(b) For a period of 2 years following July 9, 2007, victims of child sexual abuse that occurred in this State who have been barred from filing suit against their abusers by virtue of the expiration of the former civil statute of limitations, shall be permitted to file those claims in the Superior Court of this State. If the person committing the act of sexual abuse against a minor was employed by an institution, agency, firm, business, corporation, or other public or private legal entity that owned a duty of care to the victim, or the accused and the minor were engaged in some activity over which the legal entity had some degree of responsibility or control, damages against the legal entity shall be awarded under this subsection only if there is a finding of gross negligence on the part of the legal entity.
(c) A person against whom a suit is filed may recover attorneys’ fees where the Court determines that a false accusation was made with no basis in fact and with malicious intent. A verdict in favor of the accused shall not be the sole basis for a determination that an accusation was false. The Court must make an independent finding of an improper motive to award attorneys’ fees under this section.