Under Insurance Code section 11583, the statute of limitations is tolled when a potential defendant makes partial payment of damages incurred by the plaintiff unless the defendant gives the plaintiff written notice of the limitations period or unless the plaintiff is represented by a lawyer at the time of the payment. This decision determines that gifts, money, meals, travel and clothes a child sex abuser gave to plaintiffs in part to compensate them for his wrongful acts but also in part to facilitate his continuing abuse of the plaintiffs were not partial payment of damages triggering application of section 11583 since otherwise there would be no statute of limitations for many sexual abuse claims, as “grooming” payments are often made by sex abusers to facilitate or cover up for their wrongdoing.  However, plaintiffs are given leave to amend to allege, if they can, payments made solely for the purpose of compensation which might trigger the application of section 11583.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 2 (Hoffstadt, J.); May 26, 2016; 2016 WL 3034674