ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A lawyer for plaintiffs who attended residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador says talks are progressing toward settling a lawsuit alleging abuse and cultural losses.

Steven Cooper contradicted a media report that negotiations have broken off.

He says there was progress over the weekend as lawyers for the plaintiffs and federal government work to reach a settlement -- otherwise, the lawsuit resumes in May.

About 1,200 plaintiffs were left out of a federal apology in 2008 and related compensation package.

Lawyers for the federal government have argued Ottawa was not responsible for schools that opened before the province joined Confederation in 1949.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say Ottawa owed the same legal duty to aboriginal students after 1949 as elsewhere in Canada.