The Maryland legislature passed the “Child Victims Act” and Governor Wes Moore signed it into law on April 11, ,2023. The law, which goes into effect on October 1, 2023, is part of a national legislative trend to expand or eliminate the statute of limitations for claims of child sexual abuse. The Act revises Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article §§ 5-117 and 5-518, Education Article § 4-105, and State Government Article § 12-104 to allow claimants to bring sexual abuse claims from “any time.”
The Act allows any person sexually abused as a minor in Maryland to file a claim regardless of when the injury occurred. For government agencies, the defense of sovereign immunity, typically available for claims over $400,000, is only available in these cases when the claim is over $890,000. For nongovernmental defendants, the cap on damages is $1.5 million.
Through this legislation Maryland eliminated any statute of limitations for these claims so that persons who were sexually abused as children may bring suit against their assailants at any time. This article addresses the unconstitutionality of the Act in retroactively reviving claims, litigation issues, possible limitations on res judicata, challenges with evidentiary issues, and next steps.
Any Retroactive Application Of The Act To Revive Claims Barred By The Expiration Of The Previous Statute Of Limitations Is Unconstitutional Under Maryland Law.
One of the goals of the Act is to revive the claims of persons otherwise barred from filing suit because of the expiration of the previous statute of limitations. Applying the statute retrospectively to allow a claim where the statute of limitations has run is unconstitutional as it violates potential defendants’ rights to due process under Maryland law.
For nearly 200 years, Maryland jurisprudence has consistently limited the General Assembly’s power to retroactively create or abrogate the rights of Maryland citizens. See e.g. Berrett v. Oliver, 7 G. & J. 191, 206 (1835) (“Can the Legislature exercise such a power [to retroactively annul deeds]? Unquestionably not.”); Thistle v. The Frostburg Coal Co., 10 Md. 129, 144-45 (1856)(“It is clearly not within the scope of the legislative power, to give to a law the effect of taking from one man his property and giving it to another, by any new rule of tenure, retroactive in its character.”); Grove v. Todd, 41 Md. 633, 641–42 (1875) (“To concede to the Legislature the power [to transfer property from one person to another], by retroactive legislation, […] is at once to concede to it the power to divest the rights of property and transfer them without the forms of law, upon any notion of right or justice that the Legislature may think proper to adopt — a concession that can never be made[.]”); Comptroller v. Glenn L. Martin Co., 216 Md. 235, 258, cert. denied, 358 U.S. 820 (1958) (retroactive application of tax statute that sought “to reach transactions completed long before its enactment” unconstitutional); Dua v. Comcast Cable of Maryland, Inc., 370 Md. 604, 633 (2002) (“This Court has consistently held that the Maryland Constitution ordinarily precludes the Legislature […] from retroactively creating a cause of action, or reviving a barred cause of action, thereby violating the vested right of the defendant.”). Maryland courts invoke Articles 19 and 24 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights and Article III, § 40, of the Maryland Constitution to strike down such legislation. See, e.g., Dua v. Comcast Cable of Maryland, Inc.
Where the General Assembly has changed the statute of limitations for a claim, the general rule in Maryland is that “when a defendant has survived the period set forth in the statute of limitations without being sued, a legislative attempt to revive the expired claim […] violate[s] the defendant’s right to due process.” Rice v. Univ. of Maryland Med. Sys. Corp., 186 Md. App. 551, 563 (2009) (citing Smith v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 266 Md. 52, 57 (1972)).
The Maryland Supreme Court in reviewing such legislation first looks to see if the intent of the legislation was to be retrospective/retroactive as to “transactions which have occurred or rights and obligations which existed before passage of the act.” State v. Goldberg, 437 Md. 191, 205 (2014) (citing Muskin v. State Dep’t of Assessments & Taxation, 422 Md. 544 (2011)). Clearly, the stated legislative purpose of the Act to allow “for the retroactive application of this Act under certain circumstances” demonstrates the legislature’s intent for the bill to be retroactive.
The revisions to Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-117(b) (2023) state in relevant part:
“Notwithstanding any time limitation under a statute of limitations, a statute of repose, the Maryland Tort Claims Act, the Local Government Tort Claims Act, or any other law, an action for damages arising out of an alleged incident or incidents of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor may be filed at any time.”
This language clearly allows persons to file a lawsuit regarding acts of child sexual abuse which existed before the passage of the Act, regardless of any previous statute of limitations.
As a general rule, in Maryland statutes are presumed to operate prospectively and are to be constructed accordingly. Roe v. Doe, 193 Md. App. 558, 564 (2010), aff’d, 419 Md. 687 (2011) (citing Washington Suburban Sanitary Comm’n v. Riverdale Heights Volunteer Fire Co., 308 Md. 556, 560–61 (1987)). Similarly, Maryland recognizes a general presumption that legislative enactments may not be applied retroactively. Langston v. Riffe, 359 Md. 396, 406–07 (2000). Notably, a remedial or procedural statute may not be applied retroactively if it will interfere with vested or substantive rights. Id. at 418.
In Rice v. Univ. of Maryland Med. Sys. Corp., plaintiffs filed for medical malpractice but failed to attach a proper expert certificate. 186 Md. App. at 553. During the pendency of the litigation, the Court of Appeals issued a decision holding that such a failure required dismissal of the claim. Id. at 552 (citing Walzer v. Osborne, 395 Md. 563, 585 (2006)). Hospital defendant moved for dismissal, which was granted without prejudice. Id. Plaintiffs simultaneously appealed and refiled their claim. Id. The hospital moved for dismissal of the refiled claim, arguing that the statute of limitations for the claim had expired, which was granted. Id. On appellate review, the Court of Special Appeals confirmed that “when a defendant has survived the period set forth in the statute of limitations without being sued, a legislative attempt to revive the expired claim would violate the defendant’s right to due process,” id. at 562 (citing Smith v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 266 Md. 52, 57 (1972)), but also noted that the General Assembly “may extend a statute of limitations that applies to a claim as to which the statute of limitations has not yet expired,” id. (citing Zitomer v. Slate, 21 Md. App. 709, 720 (1974)). Applying Rice, no claim may be brought for claims where the statute of limitations has expired, yet for any claims where the statute of limitations was still open, the extension under the Act is allowed.
Similarly, in Roe, the plaintiff alleged she was sexually abused as a minor. 193 Md. App. at 561. She reached the age of majority in late September 2001, and as of that time had the right to file a claim within three years. Id. at 562. In 2003, the General Assembly extended the time to bring a claim from three years to seven years, giving her until late September 2008 to file a claim. Id. In early September 2008, she filed a claim under Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-117 (2006). Id. at 563. The court concluded that the extension of the period of limitation for claims not yet barred did not violate the due process rights of the defendant. See id. at 579.
Under both cases, while the General Assembly may extend the time to file a claim when the limitations period has not yet run, it has no authority to revive a claim after the limitations period has closed.
Other courts have barred the revival of claims after the statute of limitations has expired. See Doe v. Diocese of Dallas, 234 Ill. 2d 393, 917 N.E. 2d 475 (2009); and Doe v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, 862 S.W.2d 338 (Mo. 1993); but see Baughn v. Eli Lilly & Co., 356 F. Supp. 2d 1166, 1171 (D. Kan. 2005)(product liability claim).
How The Maryland Child Victims Act May Be Applied.
While the Maryland Supreme Court will at some point have to resolve the constitutionality of the Act, until that time litigants must determine what cases will be brought and how they may be resolved. Likely scenarios are presented below, with the Act’s constitutionality presumed.
The “Typical Case”
Litigant 1 was a student at County School in 2010. He alleges that when he was 16 years old he had sexual contact with a school employee on multiple separate occasions, that the employee is not related to him by blood or marriage, and that the employee did not use force or the threat of force.
The first step in evaluating such a claim is whether this meets the definition of “sexual abuse” under the Act. The Act states:
“[S]exual abuse” means any act that involves:
(1) an adult allowing or encouraging a child to engage in:
(i) obscene photography, films, poses, or similar activity;
(ii) pornographic photography, films, poses, or similar activity; or (iii) prostitution;
(4) sexual offense in any degree; or
(5) unnatural or perverted sexual practices any other sexual conduct that is a crime.
Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-117(a) (2023).
Here, the alleged act would not constitute rape under Maryland law, as the student was not under 16 and no force was used. See Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §§ 3-303, 304. However, if the staffer was a full-time permanent school employees who engaged in sexual acts with the student, this would constitute a sexual offense in the fourth degree. See Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-308(c). This would therefore be sexual abuse as defined in the Act, and the claim could proceed.
When Litigant Was Not A Minor
Litigant 2 was also a student at County School in 2010 but was 18 years old when she had sexual contact with a school employee on multiple occasions. The Act provides relief only where “damages aris[e] out of an alleged incident or incidents of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor.” Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-117(b) (2023)(emphasis added). Since this litigant was not a minor at the time of the acts, see Md. Code Ann., Gen. Prov. § 1-401(a), she is not eligible for relief under the Act.
When The Alleged Sexual Abuse Was Not Criminal At The Time of Occurrence
Now consider Litigant 3, who was a student at County School in 2005. He similarly alleges that when he was 16 he had sexual contact with a permanent school employee on multiple occasions, that the employee is not related to him by blood or marriage, and that the employee did not use force or the threat of force. However, Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-308(c) was passed in 2006; therefore, these acts did not constitute a crime in 2000.
Under a plain reading of the Act, child sexual abuse includes “any other sexual conduct that is a crime.” Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-117(a)(5) (2023) (emphasis added). Plaintiffs would likely argue that this reading makes a person liable for behavior that was not criminal at the time of the alleged act but is a crime at the time the suit was filed and therefore such a case should be allowed to proceed. Defendants will likely argue that they were not on notice that these acts constituted a crime, and therefore cannot be held civilly liable under the Act.
Until the Maryland Supreme Court weighs in, Maryland courts may look to other jurisdictions in considering this question. In Anonymous v. Castagnola, 210 A.D.3d 940, 942–43, 178 N.Y.S.3d 587, 591 (2022), the plaintiff sued “John Doe,” a student at her school, school staff, and the school board for sexual abuse. Id. at 940-941. The school defendants filed a motion to dismiss because Doe was a minor at the time of the act and therefore could not be held criminally liable. Id. at 941. The trial court denied the motion. Id.
On review, the intermediate appellate court considered the statutory language of New York’s Child Victims Act, N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214-g (McKinney), and found “conduct which would constitute a sexual offense as defined” referred to conduct described in New York’s penal laws, and further was not limited to situations where the conduct would subject the defendant to criminal liability. Id. at 942-43. The court stated: “To read the statute as limited to only that conduct for which the actor could be subject to criminal liability, we would have to interpret the language ‘constitute a sexual offense’ to mean ‘establish a violation,’ which would require the Court to ‘legislat[e] under the guise of interpretation.’” Id. at 943. While the New York and Maryland acts are written very differently, the intent to remove procedural barriers to filing these claims is likely to weigh heavily in a judge’s decision whether to consider past behavior under current criminal statutes.
When Litigant Has Previously Had Their Claim Ruled On, Is Res Judicata Available?
Finally, consider Litigant 4, who was a 16-year-old student at County School in 2010 and also had sexual contact with a school employee on multiple occasions. Litigant 4 filed a lawsuit in 2020. The County School System filed a motion to dismiss based on the expiration of the statute of limitations, which was granted, and the case was concluded. In this scenario, while Litigant 1 is able to proceed on his claim because it was never previously ruled upon, Litigant 4’s claim would be barred by res judicata.
However, Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-117(b) (2023) states:[…] Notwithstanding any time limitation under a statute of limitations, a statute of repose, the Maryland Tort Claims Act, the Local Government Tort Claims Act, or any other law, an action for damages arising out of an alleged incident or incidents of sexual abuse that occurred while the victim was a minor may be filed at any time.
As discussed in Section II., supra, the Act seeks to create a new claim or otherwise override the res judicata effect of previous dismissals, including those decided on statutes of limitations grounds. In Andrulonis v. Andrulonis, 193 Md. App. 601 (2010), the Maryland intermediate appellate court cited with approval Restatement (Second) of Judgments § 24 cmt. f (Change of Circumstances”) and Restatement § 26 cmt. e (Exceptions to Bar/Merger) in stating that where there is a true change in circumstances, res judicata may be inapplicable, such as when a court concludes that strong substantive policies favor allowing a claim involving “anticipated continuing or recurrent wrongs,” and where “adjudication of a particular action creates certain inequities in the context of the statutory scheme that a second action to correct the inequity may be called for even though it would normally be precluded as arising upon the same claim.” Plaintiffs may assert the following bases to pierce the res judicata defense.
Exceptions To Res Judicata – Change Of Circumstances.
Under the Restatement (Second) of Judgments § 24 cmt. f, a “change of circumstances” may be found where:
Material operative facts occurring after the decision of an action with respect to the same subject matter may in themselves, or taken in conjunction with the antecedent facts, comprise a transaction which may be made the basis of a second action not precluded by the first. [….] Where important human values—such as the lawfulness of a continuing personal disability or restraint—are at stake, even a slight change of circumstances may afford a sufficient basis for concluding that a second action may be brought.
Plaintiff’s attorneys would likely argue that addressing the lifelong harm that child sexual abuse causes is an important human value, and that the Act has materially changed the operative facts required to present such a claim, and therefore res judicata should not apply.
Exceptions To Res Judicata – Previous Judgment Inconsistent With Statutory Implementation.
Restatement (Second) of Judgments § 26 Comment (d) allows res judicata to be overcome where:
The judgment in the first action was plainly inconsistent with the fair and equitable implementation of a statutory or constitutional scheme, or it is the sense of the scheme that the plaintiff should be permitted to split his claim[.]
One of the examples given to this comment is:
“A. et al., black pupils and parents, bring suit against the B board of education to invalidate and enjoin the operation of a state school “tuition grant” law on the ground that it fosters racial discrimination and is therefore unconstitutional. The court holds the law constitutional as applied and enters judgment for the defendant. Appeal is not taken, and is not warranted by the state of the law at the time of the judgment. Thereafter the United States Supreme Court in another action between different parties strikes down as unconstitutional a similar tuition grant law of another state. A et al. then commence a new action against the B board seeking the relief that was denied in the previous action. Whether or not the claims in the two actions by A et al. are regarded as the same, the second action is not barred by the first judgment. In a matter of such public importance the policy of nationwide adherence to the authoritative constitutional interpretation overcomes the policies supporting the law of res judicata.”
While this example involves the Supreme Court finding a law unconstitutional rather than a legislature passing a new law, it’s likely some jurists would not find the distinction compelling.
The groundwork to reject res judicata for these claims may already have been laid. In Cassidy v. Bd. of Educ. of Prince George’s Cnty., 316 Md. 50, 64–65 (1989), the plaintiff filed suit against the school board without proper notice, and the court granted the board’s motion to dismiss. Id. at 52. The plaintiff then filed a second complaint alleging the board had constructive notice; that complaint was dismissed based on res judicata. Id. at 55. The Court of Appeals reversed, id. at 56, explaining that the first dismissal was for failure to satisfy a precondition of filing, rather than a judgment on the merits, and so the later claim was not barred by res judicata. Id. at 58-61.
However, in N. Am. Specialty Ins. Co. v. Bos. Med. Grp., 170 Md. App. 128 (2006), the Court of Special Appeals found assertion of the statute of limitations was an affirmative defense, like that of sovereign immunity, rather than a defect in practice, procedure or form. Id. at 142 (citing John A. Lynch & Richard W. Bourne, Modern Maryland Civil Procedure § 12.2(b)(2 )(2d ed. 2004)). Dismissal on statute of limitations grounds therefore constituted judgment on the merits and therefore res judicata would bar further action. Of unclear import, the Maryland Supreme Court has never cited to N. Am. Specialty.
At least one foreign jurisdiction has found that its Child Victims Act overcame res judicata. In Whitwell v. Archmere Acad., Inc., No. CIV.A.07C08006RBY, 2008 WL 1735370 (Del. Super. Ct. Apr. 16, 2008), the plaintiff had previously filed a claim based on sexual abuse in federal court. The defendants in the federal case moved to dismiss based on expiration of the statute of limitations, which was granted. After the passage of the Delaware Child Victims Act, Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 8145, the plaintiff filed similar claims in Delaware state court, and the defendants moved to dismiss on the grounds of res judicata.
While the Delaware court recognized the general applicability of res judicata, (“The theory of res judicata is to bar the re-litigation of suits that have already had a day in court. A litigant should not be able to bring the same suit repeatedly, because he or she is unhappy with the result.”), it found that the unique nature of the Delaware Child Victims Act, which specifically sought to allow suits like plaintiff’s, made it “incongruous to think res judicata should bar it” and allowed the suit to proceed. In a later decision, the court noted that “remedial measures such as [the Delaware Child Victims Act] should be broadly construed in favor of allowing claims to be heard on their merits.” Waterhouse v. Hollingsworth, No. CV 12C-10-123 JAP, 2013 WL 5803136, at *3 (Del. Super. Ct. Oct. 10, 2013).
Exceptions To Res Judicata – Extraordinary Cause.
Restatement (Second) of Judgments, Comment (f) bars application of res judicata where:
It is clearly and convincingly shown that the policies favoring preclusion of a second action are overcome for an extraordinary reason, such as the apparent invalidity of a continuing restraint or condition having a vital relation to personal liberty or the failure of the prior litigation to yield a coherent disposition of the controversy.
This exception sets a very high bar. The first clause allows a claim to proceed, despite apparent res judicata, for “an extraordinary reason” when “clearly and convincingly shown.” The second clause seeks to provides examples of extraordinary reasons, with the first being “the apparent invalidity of a continuing restraint or condition having a vital relation to personal liberty” and the second example being “failure of the prior litigation to yield a coherent disposition of the controversy.” Plaintiffs’ counsel can be expected to offer motions attempting to meet this bar.
Exceptions To Res Judicata – Equal Protection.
Litigant D may also assert an equal protection claim to overcome res judicata. This claim is consistent with Restatement (Second) of Judgments, § 26 Comment (d), supra, where a previous judgment is inconsistent with statutory implementation. Such a claim would find purchase in Neiswanger Mgmt. Servs., LLC v. Nay, No. PWG-17-746, 2018 WL 9988171, at *7 (D. Md. Mar. 26, 2018). In that case, the plaintiff nursing home facility sued the Md. Dept. of Health alleging an equal protection violation as a “class of one,” because it was treated differently than other similarly situated regulated nursing homes. Such a claim is allowed under Vill. of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564 (2000), “where the plaintiff alleges that [it] has been intentionally treated differently from others similarly situated and that there is no rational basis for the difference in treatment.” This may be a basis to allow Litigant D-type plaintiffs to proceed with their claims.
Exceptions To Res Judicata – Fraudulent Concealment.
Potential defendants under the Act must also take care to avoid fraudulent concealment, which will bar a res judicata defense. In Zimmerman v. Poly Prep Country Day Sch., 888 F. Supp. 2d 317, 334 (E.D.N.Y. 2012), the court concluded that plaintiffs adequately alleged that fraudulent concealment prevented them from filing their claims within the limitations period.
Settlement Waiver Bars Revival Of Claims.
For claims that were settled with appropriate releases, this should prevent relitigation of any claim. In In re Roman Cath. Diocese of Rockville Ctr., New York, No. 20-12345 (MG), 2023 WL 2700082, at *10 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2023), the claimants argued without apparent basis that the New York Child Victims Act allowed persons who entered into settlements to revive their claims. The court disagreed, stating the Act “simply changed the time bar defenses available to defendants for certain types of sexual abuse claims” and did not void or otherwise impact releases/settlements.
III. EVIDENTIARY ISSUES
The Act conceivably allows a claim brought on behalf of a person who is one hundred years old, i.e. someone who was born in 1923 and was later a child victim of sexual abuse. But what evidence would be available for claims over one hundred years or even more than fifty years old?
Maryland did not have “child abuse” as a crime until 1963 and did not institute mandatory reporting of possible child abuse/neglect to local departments of social services until 1964 (and then only for physicians). Notes and Comments: Maryland Laws on Child Abuse and Neglect: History, Analysis and Reform, Barry L. Steelman, 6 U. Balt. Law. Rev. (1976). Teachers became mandatory reporters in 1966. Id. If social services records exist, parties would need to obtain a court order to access these. Md. Code Ann., Hum Svcs. §§ 1-201(b), 1-202(b).
Certainly few witnesses who were adults prior to 1970 are likely to be available to testify. Schools would be unlikely to have records, barring some unusual recordkeeping requirement in their records retention and disposal schedule. The existence of contemporaneous medical reports and police reports is similarly unlikely. Preservation of any evidence would likely have stopped after the expiration of the previous statute of limitations. Evidence in these matters would likely be testimony from the victim and any recorded recollection.
For incidents that occurred in the era of electronic data storage, more evidence would be available, although such records also follow a retention and disposal schedule. Such storage has its own risk of loss.
In other jurisdictions, the age of the incident has not stopped filing of claims. In LG 67 Doe v. Resurrection Lutheran Church, 75 Misc. 3d 327, 328, 164 N.Y.S.3d 803 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2022), the plaintiff brought a claim based on sexual abuse alleged to have occurred between 1960 and 1964.
IV. WHETHER A CLAIM OF REPEATED SEXUAL ABUSE CONSISTS OF ONE CLAIM OR MULTIPLE CLAIMS.
The statute effectively caps the claims for governmental entities at $890,000 “for injuries arising from an incident or occurrence.” Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-303(a)(4); Cts. & Jud. Proc. §§ 5-518(b)(2)(ii), 5-518(c)(2); State Gov’t. § 12-104(a)(2)(iii); see Educ. § 4-105(b)(1)(i). Less clear is whether these claims alleging a defendant allowed multiple incidents of sexual abuse with one victim to be one continuous claim or would be multiple claims.
Historically, Maryland courts have found that claimants alleging a continuing pattern of harm against the government may only obtain the statutory limit set out in statute for injuries. See Bd. of Cnty. Comm’rs of St. Mary’s Cnty. v. Marcas, L.L.C., 415 Md. 676 (2010) (even if government defendant was negligent in several different ways, all such claims are considered an “individual claim” under Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5–303(a) (2010)). Compare Whitwell v. Archmere Acad., Inc., supra (“There is no persuasive legal reason to view these 230 incidents [of child sexual abuse] as a part of a singular, and previously litigated, incident.”)
V. EFFECT ON TITLE IX CLAIMS.
For public and private schools and programs that receive federal funds (either directly or as a result of being indirect recipients because of their federal non-profit status under Peltier v. Charter Day Sch., Inc., 37 F.4th 104, 127 (4th Cir. 2022)), the elimination of the Maryland statute of limitations also eliminates the statute of limitations for Title IX claims, as federal claims use the most analogous state statute of limitations. See Doe v. Bd. of Educ. of Prince George’s Cnty., 888 F. Supp. 2d 659, 663 (D. Md. 2012). There is no statutory cap on economic damages under Title IX, see Fitzgerald v. Barnstable Sch. Comm., 555 U.S. 246, 255 (2009), and prevailing plaintiffs are entitled to recover their attorneys’ fees as well. 42 U.S.C. § 1988. These claims should only be available for claims occurring in or after 1972, the year Title IX was passed.
VI. COVERAGE ISSUES.
Determining liability or settlement for claims over a certain age will prove challenging especially for older claims. Persons and entities at risk should review any tail coverage, especially to determine whether the coverage was for a “claims policy” or an “occurrence policy.” Under a claims policy, only claims reported during the policy period are covered. Under an occurrence policy, coverage is provided for incidents that occurred during the policy period, no matter when a claim is filed, for the length of the occurrence policy.
At this time, it is unclear what sort of coverage insurers in Maryland will provide for older claims, if any. This will be a significant issue for any public or private employer that has changed insurance carriers over the years.
VII. NEXT STEPS
All persons and entities that worked with children in Maryland should make sure that any records or evidence regarding any allegation of child sexual abuse is preserved. Any previous settlement agreements involving sexual allegations should be reviewed to determine the scope of any included releases. A review of insurance coverages, including tail coverage, is also appropriate.
For many years, the attorneys at Pessin Katz Law, P.A. have defended public and private employers in the defense of child sex abuse claims including since the early 1990’s the defense of dozens of suits brought under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
William Fields is Counsel in PK Law’s Education, Labor, and Employment Group. In his practice, Bill focuses on the representation of county school boards across Maryland, as well as representing private schools, higher education institutions, and private sector employers with employment and labor issues. As an Assistant Attorney General, Bill was counsel to the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland School for the Deaf. Previously, Bill was an Assistant Public Defender in the Maryland Office of the Public Defender’s Parental Defense Division, and Staff Attorney with Disability Rights Maryland. He can be reached at 410-740-3177 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
 “In contrast, however, the legislature may extend a statute of limitations that applies to a claim as to which the statute of limitations has not yet expired.” Id. (citing Zitomer v. Slate, 21 Md. App. 709, 720 (1974), rev’d on other grounds, 275 Md. 534 (1975)).” Thus, for those cases where the statute of limitations has not yet expired, it is constitutional for the Act to extend the filing period.
 That court found that Maryland only allowed a second filing when the previous filing was dismissed on the following bases: misjoinder; filing in equity rather than law; failing to pray a jury trial; and lack of prosecution. N. Am. Specialty Ins. Co. at 141-142, and cites to cases therein from 1919, 1932, 1939, and 1973.
 Non-economic damages are not recoverable under Spending Clause legislation such as Title IX. See Cummings v. Premier Rehab. Keller, P..L.L.C., ___ U.S. ___, 142 S. Ct. 1562, 1571 (2022).