A Halifax law firm says it has filed a statement of claim in Nova Scotia Supreme Court alleging systemic sexual, physical, and mental abuse against children who attended two segregated residential schools in the province.

Lawyer Ray Wagner says Wednesday's move is an important step in a proposed class action lawsuit that still needs to be certified by a judge before proceeding to trial.

The schools named in the claim are the School for the Deaf in Halifax and the Interprovincial School for the Education of the Deaf in Amherst.

The Nova Scotia government has also been named as a defendant in allegations that have not been proven in court.

The claim alleges the province, which was responsible for the operation and oversight of the institutions, chose not to properly investigate or stop the abuse and mistreatment of the children, and that its actions constitute negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

The law firm says that to date it has been contacted by over 150 former students of the two schools.