By Associated Press - Thursday, September 4, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - A $380 million lawsuit claiming at least 34 ex-students of New York City’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys were abused, some sexually, from 1971 to 1992 was filed too late to be a viable claim, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the statute of limitations had expired, and that the plaintiffs had enough information to take action decades ago.

The lawsuit claimed administrators ignored abuse complaints and said the plaintiffs learned of an alleged school cover-up only in 2012.

But the appeals court said the plaintiffs had not established how - given knowledge of their own abuse, and of their alleged abusers’ identities and prior and continued employment at the school - supposed misstatements by school officials impeded their investigation and prevented them from filing a lawsuit.

The plaintiffs had lost in lower courts and appealed to the circuit court. Plaintiffs’ attorney Kevin Mulhearn promised to appeal further, perhaps to the full circuit court, calling the ruling “intellectually and morally bankrupt” and a “perversion of justice.”

“There’s no way any of my guys could have known the school was knowingly employing people they knew were serial sex molesters,” he said. “My clients are distraught, shocked.”

In a statement, the school called the case “trying for all involved.”

“Our thoughts remain with anyone who may have been harmed by actions that occurred many years ago and our confidential counseling services remain available to those affected,” the school said. “We move to the future as a proud school with excellent policies and procedures in an atmosphere that is safe and inspiring.”

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