St. John's Military School

A federal judge has denied a Kansas military academy's request to split up a lawsuit brought by 11 former cadets alleging the school fostered a climate of abuse.

Attorneys for St. John's Military School in Salina had argued that each ex-cadet's claims were unique and that jurors in a single trial could get confused. But on Friday, U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum ruled that all the ex-cadets allege the school failed to protect them from abuse by other students. He says the claims involve common questions of law and fact.

St. John's Military School in Salina wants to split up a federal lawsuit in which 11 former cadets alleging the school fostered a culture of abuse.

Lawyers for St. John's argued in a recent filing the defense would be harmed by failure to hold 11 separate trials.

The motion contends each ex-cadet's claims are unique, and that a jury weighing all the claims in a single trial could get confused.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs say the school's attempt to pursue 11 trials would result in protracted litigation, with similar witnesses and documents throughout.