MORE than 60 people who say they were subjected to sexual and physical abuse at Merseyside children’s homes will have their compensation claims heard. The alleged victims are suing the Nugent Care Society, responsible for the longclosed St Vincent’s home in Formby, and its sister establishment, St Aidan’s in Widnes, for substantial damages. The case is due to go ahead at the high court early next year. Cheadle Hulmebased solicitors Abney Garsden McDonald say the group were traumatised by their experiences at the homes between the early 1960 s and the mid-1980s. They claim management “should have appreciated what was happening” at the homes and “failed to heed or act upon” young residents’ complaints of widespread physical and sexual abuse. In a hearing at the high court, Mr Justice Holland directed the trial of the claims should start on February 21 with six “lead cases” on the result of which about 60 others will depend. The judge set the trial date despite a plea from Edward Faulks QC, for the Nugent Care Society, that defence lawyers needed more time to cope with the enormous amount of evidence generated by the case.