Tampa, FL asked in Personal Injury, Sexual Harassment and Employment Law for Florida

Q: I’m in Florida, I was sexually assaulted by the owner of a large company about 10 years ago and was threatened not to ta

Can I do anything about it now

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Sorry to hear about your ordeal. In answering, I am assuming that you were an adult at the time. For criminal investigation/prosecution, contact your local law enforcement agency or State Attorney's Office (felony intake). You may or may not be beyond the limitations period for criminal prosecution.

But you sent in this inquiry using the category "employment discrimination". If you are trying to find out if you have a viable on-the-job sexual harassment claim for money damages, you likely are well beyond your legal deadline - but contact employment law attorneys in your area to be certain. An issue there is whether the threats would be a basis for tolling (that is, extending) the limitations period, or, alternatively, delaying the date on which the limitations period commences (called the "accrual" date). (I don't know if it is a basis or not).

Another issue is whether you can sue the perpetrator (individually) for money damages (regardless of your employment relationship). The limitations period for that (assuming you were an adult) is within 4 years or "within 4 years after the injured person leaves the dependency of the abuser, or within 4 years from the time of discovery by the injured party of both the injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the abuse, whichever occurs later." So that's a problem, but there again is the issue of whether the threats arguably toll the limitations deadline or delay the accrual date. But assuming you have a viable claim after all this time, another issue to be examined for suing any individual, wealthy or poor, is collectibility.

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