05/29/2013 01:21 EDT | Updated 07/29/2013 05:12 EDT

Alberta Deaf Students Claiming Abuse Denied Class-Action Lawsuit

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EDMONTON - A judge has refused to grant a class-action lawsuit to former students who claim they were physically and sexually abused at the Alberta School for the Deaf.

They allege they were abused by staff and other students at the school in Edmonton well over a decade ago.

One student claimed that she was sexually assaulted, became pregnant and had an abortion against her will.

Queen's Bench Justice John Rooke says in a lengthy judgment that too much time has passed to grant class-action status.

But he also says that if his decision were reversed on appeal, he would allow an action with several conditions.

Regina-based lawyer Tony Merchant, who specializes in class actions, filed the lawsuit in March 2008 on behalf of students who boarded at the school between 1955 and 1996.

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