The complaint, which was filed in state supreme court in Manhattan on Monday, comes after New York state last month abolished statutes of limitations and established a one-year window for victims to file lawsuits over accusations of sexual assault, even if they occurred decades ago.
As the #MeToo movement gained momentum in late 2017, allegations that Toback had engaged in sexual abuse dating back years arose. The Los Angeles Times broke the story first.
In 2018, Los Angeles prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against Toback because they determined that the statutes of limitations had passed in five of the cases they had examined.
Information on attorneys or representatives for Toback was not available; he has denied the allegations made against him.
Fifteen of the women are named as plaintiffs in the New York suit, while another 23 are listed as Jane Does; in addition to Toback, the Harvard Club of New York City is also listed as a defendant, with some of the women saying they were abused there.
An email seeking comment was sent to the club.
Toback was nominated for an Oscar for writing 1991′s “Bugsy,” and his career in Hollywood has spanned more than 40 years.