Battered Woman Can Sue for Prior Abuse

Steven Lieberman, a judicial referee for the New York State Supreme Court, has ruled that Hedda Nussbaum can sue for domestic abuse, even though she filed her complaint after the statue of limitations had expired. Usually, civil suits involving abuse must be filed within one year of the alleged abuse, but an exception is made in cases where the person cannot sue because of mental incapacity. Lieberman ruled that the abuse left Nussbaum incapable of filing suit within the statue of limiations. Betty Levinson, Nussbaum’s lawyer, commented, “This decision acknowledges that a battered woman who suffers from psychological abuse and physical assault cannot and should not be required to take prompt legal action against her abuser.” Joel Steinberg, the man accused of the abuse, is currently in prison for the murder of the couple’s illegally adopted child.


New York Times - March 13, 1997

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