Nussbaum v. Steinberg

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  • Fairness in the Courts
  • Violence Against Women and Girls
  • Joined Amicus Brief
2000

Determined whether New York’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims can be tolled due to psychological disability resulting from domestic abuse.

Summary of the Case

This case involves the claims of Hedda Nussbaum, a battered woman, who sued her batterer to recover damages for injuries resulting from the abuse.  The main issue in the case is whether New York’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims can be tolled due to psychological disability resulting from domestic abuse.  

Our Role in the Case

In 1995, we joined an amicus brief submitted to the trial court.  In March 1997, the court issued a groundbreaking decision permitting Nussbaum to proceed with her claims, recognizing that domestic violence may render a woman incapable of understanding her rights and promptly commencing a lawsuit. The defendant appealed and in September 1999 we joined an amicus brief in the appeal.  

Decision

In February 2000, the Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the trial court order tolling the statute of limitations because the physical and psychological abuse rendered Nussbaum unable to bring a timely claim.