LOS ANGELES (AP) — A sexual battery lawsuit filed by a woman who accuses Bill Cosby of sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion when she was underage will proceed, a judge has ruled.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan’s ruling Thursday allows most of Judy Huth’s lawsuit against Cosby to proceed while dismissing a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim. Huth will still be able to argue that Cosby intentionally inflicted emotional distress on her.
Huth sued Cosby in December 2014, saying that he forced her to perform a sex act on him in a bedroom of the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15 years old.
Cosby’s lawyers had challenged the case on various procedural grounds, including that Huth had waited too long to sue the comedian.
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Cosby’s lawyers had also argued that Huth’s claims should be dismissed because her former attorney did not follow the proper procedure for filing a lawsuit alleging underage sexual abuse.
“The court is not, at this time, willing to dismiss plaintiff’s potentially meritorious claims against defendant based upon mistakes attributable to her former counsel,” Karlan wrote.
“The decision is a vindication of our position that this lawsuit should be permitted to proceed to trial and should not be dismissed,” Huth’s attorney Gloria Allred wrote in a statement. “We did not believe that there was a valid basis for denying Ms. Huth her day in court. We are very happy that the Court agreed and we will continue to vigorously fight for a just result for our client.”
An email sent to Cosby’s spokeswoman Monique Pressley was not immediately returned. Cosby’s former attorney has accused Huth’s former lawyer of attempting to extort Cosby for $250,000 before filing her lawsuit.
Cosby’s attorneys will have other chances to seek the case’s dismissal before trial.
Karlan has ruled that Cosby and Huth do not have to give additional sworn testimony to give the comedian more time to resolve a sexual assault case filed in Pennsylvania.
Dozens of women have accused Cosby of sex abuse, but most of the claims are barred by the statute of limitations. Several women, including model Janice Dickinson, have sued Cosby for defamation over his lawyers’ denials that he abused them.
This story has been corrected to show that the infliction of emotional distress claim has been dismissed, and the ruling was issued Thursday, not Tuesday.