Judge certifies class-action lawsuit alleging abuse at Halifax orphanage

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HALIFAX - A provincial Supreme Court judge says former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children who allege they were abused at the Halifax orphanage can proceed with their class-action lawsuit against the province.

In a ruling released today, Judge Arthur LeBlanc sanctioned the proceeding but wanted more information from the plaintiffs on their litigation plan and an amendment to some wording in its claim.

The case may not go ahead since the new provincial government has indicated it wants to try to settle the matter out of court.

Ray Wagner, a lawyer representing the class, says the two sides are talking and he's optimistic they can reach a deal.

Premier Stephen McNeil has not said how much the provincial government is willing to provide in a settlement, but says he is willing to hold an inquiry into the alleged abuse at the home.

About 150 former residents of the orphanage allege they were sexually, physically and psychologically abused by staff over a 50-year period up until the 1980s.

Organizations: Supreme Court, Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children

Geographic location: Halifax

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