2015 ORS 12.117¹
Actions based on child abuse

(1) Notwithstanding ORS 12.110 (Actions for certain injuries to person not arising on contract), 12.115 (Action for negligent injury to person or property) or 12.160 (Suspension for minors and persons who have disabling mental condition), an action based on conduct that constitutes child abuse or conduct knowingly allowing, permitting or encouraging child abuse that occurs while the person is under 18 years of age must be commenced before the person attains 40 years of age, or if the person has not discovered the causal connection between the injury and the child abuse, nor in the exercise of reasonable care should have discovered the causal connection between the injury and the child abuse, not more than five years from the date the person discovers or in the exercise of reasonable care should have discovered the causal connection between the child abuse and the injury, whichever period is longer.

(2) As used in subsection (1) of this section, "child abuse" means any of the following:

(a) Intentional conduct by an adult that results in:

(A) Any physical injury to a child; or

(B) Any mental injury to a child which results in observable and substantial impairment of the child’s mental or psychological ability to function caused by cruelty to the child, with due regard to the culture of the child;

(b) Rape of a child, which includes but is not limited to rape, sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration and incest, as those acts are defined in ORS chapter 163;

(c) Sexual abuse, as defined in ORS chapter 163, when the victim is a child; or

(d) Sexual exploitation of a child, including but not limited to:

(A) Conduct constituting violation of ORS 163.435 (Contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor) and any other conduct which allows, employs, authorizes, permits, induces or encourages a child to engage in the performing for people to observe or the photographing, filming, tape recording or other exhibition which, in whole or in part, depicts sexual conduct or contact; and

(B) Allowing, permitting, encouraging or hiring a child to engage in prostitution or commercial sexual solicitation, as defined in ORS chapter 167.

(3) Nothing in this section creates a new cause of action or enlarges any existing cause of action. [1989 c.643 §§2,3; 1991 c.386 §4; 1991 c.932 §1; 1993 c.18 §5; 1993 c.296 §1; 1993 c.622 §2; 2009 c.879 §1; 2011 c.151 §4; 2015 c.98 §2]

Notes of Decisions

Statute, as amended in 1991, applies to ac­tion based on child abuse filed after October 3, 1989, even if ac­tion was pre­vi­ously barred by ORS 12.110 (Actions for certain injuries to person not arising on contract) and 12.160 (Suspension for minors and persons who have disabling mental condition) and such applica­tion does not violate Article III, sec­tion 1 of Oregon Constitu­tion. A.K.H. v. R.C.T., 312 Or 497, 822 P2d 135 (1991)

"Knowingly" does not prevent allega­tion that defendant allowed, permitted or encouraged child abuse through negligence. Lourim v. Swensen, 147 Or App 425, 936 P2d 1011 (1997), rev'd on other grounds, 328 Or 380, 977 P2d 1157 (1999)

"Knowingly" refers to actual knowledge only, not to constructive knowledge. Lourim v. Swensen, 147 Or App 425, 936 P2d 1011 (1997), rev'd on other grounds, 328 Or 380, 977 P2d 1157 (1999)

Ac­tion alleging liability for behavior preparatory to abuse is "based on con­duct that constitutes child abuse." Fearing v. Bucher, 328 Or 367, 977 P2d 1163 (1999); Lourim v. Swensen, 328 Or 380, 977 P2d 1157 (1999)

"Sexual exploita­tion" refers to con­duct that uses child in sexual way for per­sonal gratifica­tion or benefit and that per­sonally involves child. Schmidt v. Mt. Angel Abbey, 347 Or 389, 223 P3d 399 (2009)

"Cruelty to child" refers to (1) acts that are performed with specific intent of injuring or harming child and that are capable of producing those results and (2) acts that demonstrate willful and wanton disregard for welfare of child from which one can infer willingness to injure child. Schmidt v. Mt. Angel Abbey, 347 Or 389, 223 P3d 399 (2009)

This pro­vi­sion does not apply to federal ac­tion brought by child abuse victim. Bonneau v. Centennial School District No. 28J, 666 F3d 577 (9th Cir. 2012)

Law Review Cita­tions

85 OLR 481 (2006)

Chapter 12

Notes of Decisions

An ac­tion for per­sonal injuries caused by breach of implied warranty is clearly one for which "different limita­tion is prescribed by statute" under ORS 12.010 (Time of commencing actions) and thus is not governed by pro­vi­sions of this chapter. Redfield v. Mead, Johnson & Co., 266 Or 273, 512 P2d 776 (1973)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 12—Limitations of Actions and Suits, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors012.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 12, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano012.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.