Dozens of former inmates of a Saskatchewan youth detention facility have filed a lawsuit against the province and a Regina man who has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing teenage boys.

A total of 71 claimants are involved in the lawsuit which was filed Tuesday with a court in Regina.

It names the Saskatchewan Boys' School, which later became known as the Paul Dojack Centre, a youth correctional facility operated by the province.

The statement of claim alleges numerous incidents of physical and sexual abuse and adds the provincial government knew, or should have known, that abuse was taking place at the centre.

Most of the allegations refer to actions of a former guard, Ronald Sawa.

In April, Sawa pleaded guilty to charges of sexually abusing nine teenage boys. He was sentenced to 4½ years in prison.

The province is refusing to comment on the lawsuit while it's before the courts.

According to the statement of claim, the Saskatchewan Boys' School operated as a group home for troublesome youngsters, most of whom were wards of the government. It was also used as a detention centre for young people involved in the justice system.

The statement of claim says the victims will be seeking various damages, although no monetary figure was cited.

The law firm representing the plaintiffs is the Regina-based Merchant Law Group.