Harvey Weinstein thinks he will come out clean in the class action suit against him because of the statute of limitations, but the accusers claim many of them did not know they had suffered injuries until long after the alleged physical assaults, and they say it has reset their clock.
Sources connected to the case, filed by the Armenta Law Firm, tell The Blast the plaintiffs believe their clock for the statute of limitations did not start until it was revealed in the news that Weinstein had destroyed women's careers over his alleged sexual misconduct. We're told many of the women did not know the full scope of Weinstein's behavior, and also the alleged facilitating by The Weinstein Company.
Under current law, the statute of limitations for a civil RICO case runs four years from the date of the injury or the date the plaintiff knows or should have known of their injury. We're told the plaintiffs in this case plan to argue that they did not know of their injury until the articles were published detailing the alleged incidents with Weinstein from other women. It was then that they fully realized they had also been the victims of sexual misconduct and that their careers had likely suffered because of it. Therefore, they feel the four year statute of limitations has not yet expired, as Weinstein claims.
We're told the team also plans on using legal precedent -- In 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision in Rotella v. Wood regarding the statute of limitations in civil RICO actions, and held that the uniform four-year statute of limitations period begins as soon as a plaintiff discovers his injury, regardless of when the fraud causing that injury is discovered.
The Blast broke the story, the class action suit's lead plaintiff is a legally blind, disabled actress who claims Weinstein assaulted her during an audition. The lawsuit also aims at putting the producer and The Weinstein Company in RICO consideration by accusing them of operating a corrupt organization.
Weinstein is still seeking to have the whole case tossed, and is holding on to the fact that he believes the statute of limitations on any alleged incidents have passed. He also tried to use Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep in his defense ... which did not go over well.