The Economic Impact of a Constitutional Amendment to Implement Pennsylvania House Bill 14 of the 2021-22 Session

Here are the main findings of a policy report showing what the economic impact would be on Pennsylvania taxpayers of creating a two-year window during which the statute of limitations would be lifted in regards to a constitutional amendment focusing on sexual abuse cases that can be brought against Pennsylvania school districts.

The full report can be found here: January 10, 2023 report

  • Sexual Abuse has been an on-going problem for years nationwide. In recent years, Pennsylvania stands near the top of the list in terms of the number of cases.
  • House Bill 14 would create a two-year window during which the statute of limitations would be lifted. The expected result is a large number of claims filed against Pennsylvania school districts.
  • If the rate of abuse in the public schools matched that of Catholic schools, we expect approximately 10,000 claims to be filed.
  • The U.S. Department of Education speculates that the problem in public schools is 100 times that of Catholic schools. If true, we expect approximately 100,000 claims to be filed.
  • Employing numbers from a national study on the economic cost of sexual abuse, we estimate that 15,000 claims would be filed in Pennsylvania.
  • Extrapolating the recent experience of the Ken-Ton school district in New York, we estimate that 17,500 claims would be filed in Pennsylvania.
  • Analyzing 20 cases from 2012-2020, the average award per claim is estimated to be $325,000 to $500,000 per claimant. In the most recent Ken-Ton case, the average award was $500,000.
  • Based on all our estimates, removing the statute of limitations on filing a claim for a two-year window is expected to result in total claims ranging from $5 billion to $32.5 billion statewide.