SECTION 1. Chapter 260 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 36 the following sections:-
Section 37. The following actions shall be commenced within ten years:
(a)An action of tort for assault or battery where the conduct constituting the tort would also constitute any of the following:
(1)An act of torture (as defined in section 2340 of Title 18 of the United States Code):
(2)An act of genocide (as defined in section 1091(a) of Title 18 of the United States Code);
(3)A war crime (as defined in section 2441(c)-(d) of Title 18 of the United States Code);
(4)Attempted extrajudicial killing (as defined in section 3(a) of the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, 28 U.S.C. § 1350 note);
(5)Crimes against humanity (as defined in section 38).
(b)An action for wrongful death, where the death arises out of conduct constituting any of the acts listed in subsection (a) or would constitute an “extrajudicial killing” (as defined in section 3(a) of the TVPA of 1991, 28 U.S.C. § 1350 note).
(c)An action for trafficking of persons for forced labor or services or sexual servitude brought under section 4D.
(d)An action for the taking of property in violation of international law, in which that property or any property exchanged for such property is present in the United States in connection with a commercial activity carried on in the United States by the foreign state; or that property or any property exchanged for such property is owned or operated by an agency or instrumentality of a foreign state and that agency or instrumentality is engaged in a commercial activity in the United States.
(e)An action seeking benefits under an insurance policy, where the insurance claim arises out of any of the conduct listed in subsections (a) - (d).
(f)Any action brought under this section shall not be dismissed for failure to comply with any previously applicable statute of limitations, pursuant to section 19.
Section 38. For purposes of section 37, the term “crimes against humanity” means any of the following acts as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: murder; extermination; enslavement; forcible transfer of population; arbitrary detention; rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity; persecution on political, race, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, or gender grounds; enforced disappearance of persons; or other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious bodily or mental injury.
Section 39. For an action where the applicable statute of limitations is provided by section 37:
(a) Section 9 shall not apply.
(b) A prevailing plaintiff may be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and litigation costs including, but not limited to, expert witness fees and expenses as part of the costs.
Section 40. Section 4D of said chapter 260, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out subsections (b), (c), (d) and (e).
SECTION 2. This act shall be construed to apply retroactively, and shall apply regardless of when any action or claim shall have accrued or been filed and regardless of whether it may have lapsed or otherwise be barred by time under the law of the commonwealth.
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