Saint John looses bid to quash class action lawsuit involving former police officer

The City of Saint John has lost its final bid to quash a class action lawsuit alleging a former police officer sexually abused minors for up to three decades.

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to grant the city leave to appeal lower court rulings that certified the lawsuit.

CBC says that gives a green light to the class action that argues Saint John owed the victims of Kenneth Estabrooks a duty of care while he was employed by the city from 1953 to 1983 and is responsible for an estimated 26-million dollars in punitive damages.

Estabrooks, who died in 2005, was transferred from the police force to public works in 1975 when he admitted to superiors that he had abused at least two boys and was convicted 16 years after his retirement of indecent assault involving three boys and a girl during the years he worked for the city.'

(with files from CBC)