Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal Upholds Constitutionality of “Lookback Law”

by Kristi S. Schubert

The Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal recently issued a ruling upholding the constitutionality of a law passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2022. Act 386, often referred to as the “Lookback Window,” sought to revive all previously time-barred childhood sexual abuse claims for three years, thereby giving countless child abuse survivors a second chance at justice. Act 386 is part of a nationwide trend to repair the harm caused by inadequate and unfair time limits in which to file childhood sexual abuse claims.

The Third Circuit ruling determined that the Louisiana Constitution does not protect a child abuser’s right to avoid consequences just because the abuse survivor missed the deadline to file suit. The court’s ruling sends a strong message that an abuse survivor’s right to justice must prevail over a child molester’s desire to escape responsibility.

Although the Third Circuit ruling is an important step in the right direction, it does not provide the final answer on the constitutionality question. Only the Louisiana Supreme Court can provide a final answer on the constitutionality of the “Lookback Window.” At the moment, we still await a final decision from them on this question. It is the Louisiana Supreme Court ruling which will determine whether survivors will be allowed to move forward with their claims.

The end of the three year “Lookback Window” deadline for filing these claims is less than one year away. Anybody who is considering filing a lawsuit under the “Lookback Window” should contact an experienced sexual abuse attorney.

Lamothe Law Firm is led by veteran trial attorney Frank Lamothe, who has over 50 years of experience. Lamothe and Kristi Schubert have won numerous verdicts and negotiated life-changing settlements representing their clients in claims of sexual abuse. Please contact Lamothe Law Firm as soon as possible.

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