California Appellate Courts Hold Statutory Immunity Bars Treble Damages Claims

Author: Edward Lester

Guest Editor: Grace Shuman

October 29, 2021 9:00am

California enacted Assembly Bill-218 on October 14, 2019, amending Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1.  In doing so, California greatly expanded damages awards available to childhood sexual assault victims, including treble damages against entities that engage in “covering up” childhood sexual assault.  One of the principal byproducts of the reform legislation is treble damages claims may be erroneously asserted against public school districts in childhood sexual assault cases.  In two recent decisions, California’s appellate courts have vigorously reaffirmed the traditional rule that statutory sovereign immunity under Government Code section 818 bars liability for treble damages claims brought against public entities under Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1.

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