Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Act
The act creates a statutory cause of action for a victim of sexual misconduct that occurred when the victim was a minor. The victim may bring a civil claim against the actor who committed the sexual misconduct and against an organization that operates or manages a youth-related activity or program (youth program) if the organization knew or should have known of a risk of sexual misconduct against minors and the sexual misconduct occurred while the victim was participating in a youth program managed by the organization. The act waives sovereign immunity for the claim so a victim may bring a claim against a public employee or public entity that operates a youth program, including an educational entity operating an educational program or a district preschool program.
The cause of action is available to a victim of sexual misconduct that occurred on or after January 1, 1960. A person who was the victim of sexual misconduct that occurred between January 1, 1960, and January 1, 2022, must commence an action before January 1, 2025. There is no limitation on the time to bring a claim for sexual misconduct that occurs on or after January 1, 2022. A person may not, prior to an incident of sexual misconduct, waive the right to bring a civil action; any purported pre-incident waiver is void as against public policy.
A court or jury shall not allocate any damages awarded in the civil action in any proportion against the victim of the sexual misconduct. Any pre-judgment interest on the claim does not begin to accrue until the claim is filed.
The maximum amount that may be recovered for a claim against a public employee or public entity is the limitation on damages set forth in the "Colorado Governmental Immunity Act". For all other claims, the maximum amount recoverable is $500,000; except that if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant failed to take remedial action against a person that the defendant knew or should have known posed a risk of sexual misconduct against a minor and the court finds that the application of the limitation would be unfair, the court may increase the award to up a maximum of $1,000,000.
The act appropriates $1,198,355 from the general fund to the department of personnel for risk management and reappropriates $1,137,838 of that appropriation and provides 5.9 FTE to the department of law to provide legal services.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)