Louisiana Supreme Court Upholds State’s Grace Period Law for Filing of Child Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Herman Herman & Katz lawyers support unlimited filing window for abuse survivors

NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Supreme Court has reversed its previous decision regarding child sex abuse lawsuits, upholding a 2021 amendment to the state constitution which allowed survivors to file otherwise expired claims related to their sexual abuse as minors, even if the abuse happened decades ago.

The law, known as a look-back window, created a unique opportunity for the victims. The ruling clears the way for such claims to move forward in the courts.

Herman Herman & Katz partner Soren Gisleson wrote the rehearing application, the post-rehearing briefing, and orally argued before the Court this year. Gisleson and his litigation partners have fought to uphold the constitutionality of the window since the law was passed in 2021. Within the last few weeks, the Louisiana Legislature extended the period to file expired abuse lawsuits until June 14, 2027.

The court’s decision will have a major impact on hundreds of sexual abuse claims which have been filed in the federal bankruptcy case against the Archdiocese of New Orleans, as well as other unrelated abuse claims. The trial lawyers with Herman Herman & Katz and their partners represent more survivors in the New Orleans archdiocese case than any other firm and those lawyers were instrumental in ensuring this victory. The court approved the firm’s petition in March of 2023 allowing the grace period provision to remain in place while the justices considered the case.

“It has been clearly demonstrated that many of these survivors suppress the trauma of what was done to them for years, even decades,” said Soren Gisleson. “Abusers should not be allowed the luxury of waiting for the clock to run out. These sorts of arbitrary windows of time have allowed them to do just that, and the time has come for these people to answer for the damage they’ve done. We are pleased with the court’s decision.”

The Louisiana legislation also gives victims of childhood sexual abuse a three-year window to sue regardless of their age or how long ago the abuse occurred. The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure, and more than two dozen other states have passed similar laws in recent years that have been upheld time and again as constitutionally sound.

Click here for video of Mr. Gisleson discussing the impact of this ruling.

Herman Herman & Katz is dedicated to achieving justice for our clients. We excel in a wide range of practice areas throughout Louisiana, and our personal attention, experience and commitment achieve the results our clients deserve. Our Louisiana personal injury lawyers are here to aggressively pursue justice on your behalf and help you get back on your feet. To learn more, visit: https://hhklawfirm.com/.

Media Contact:
Jason Cunningham



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