Wisconsin Supreme Court Applies Shorter Limitations Period for Negligent Hiring, Supervision, and Retention Claims Involving Child Sexual Abuse
By Paul V. Esposito
An action against an organization for negligent hiring, supervision, and retention of a coach-member who sexually assaulted a minor is governed by a shorter statute of limitations than is an action for the sexual assault. Fleming v. AAU of the U.S., Inc., 2023 Wisc. LEXIS 40 (5/17/23). The limitations period for injuries caused by criminal sexual offenses runs to a victim’s reaching age 35. The limitations period covering actions for “injuries to the person” during minority runs until age 20. The Court’s majority ruled that the longer limitations period was only applicable when an action is brought against the person allegedly committing a criminal sexual assault. The victim’s action against AAU was based on AAU’s alleged negligence in dealing with its coach-member, not on its commission of a criminal sexual assault. The dissent contended that the majority misread the longer limitations statute to exclude negligence leading to sexual assault.