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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 4D: Civil remedies for victims of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude; damages; time for actions; representation of victim's rights by others

Section 4D. (a) A victim of trafficking of persons for sexual servitude under section 50 of chapter 265 or of trafficking of persons for forced services under section 51 of said chapter 265 may bring a civil action for trafficking of persons for forced labor or services or sexual servitude. The court may award actual damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief or any other appropriate relief. A prevailing plaintiff shall also be awarded attorney's fees and costs. Treble damages may be awarded on proof of actual damages if the defendant's acts were willful and malicious.

(b) A civil action for trafficking of persons for forced labor or services or sexual servitude shall be commenced within 3 years of the date on which the human trafficking victim was freed from human trafficking or, if the victim was a child during the commission of the offense, within 3 years after the date the plaintiff attains the age of 18.

(c) If a person entitled to sue is under a disability at the time the cause of action accrues, such that it is impossible or impracticable for such person to bring an action, the time during which the plaintiff is under a disability shall toll the statute until the disability ceases.

(d) In the event that a child plaintiff is under a disability, the failure of the child's guardian ad litem to bring a plaintiff's action within the applicable limitation period shall not prejudice the plaintiff's right to do so after his disability ceases.

(e) A defendant shall be estopped from asserting a defense of the statute of limitations if the expiration of the statute is due to the defendant inducing the plaintiff to delay the filing of the action, preventing the plaintiff from filing the action or threats made by the defendant that caused duress upon the plaintiff.

(f) Any legal guardian, family member, representative of the human trafficking victim or court appointee may represent the human trafficking victim's rights, in the event the human trafficking victim is deceased or otherwise unable to represent his own interests in court.