Retired RUC officers have cleared the first stage in a High Court challenge to watchdog claims that police did nothing to alert the public to an IRA bomb that killed three neighbours.
They are seeking to quash a Police Ombudsman's report which concluded there was a failure to protect the victims of the attack in Londonderry.
The Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers' Association claims there was no legal power to make findings it says contain inaccuracies. Leave to seek a judicial review was granted on the basis that an arguable case has been established.
Proceedings were issued over an Ombudsman probe into the booby-trap bombing in August 1988. Eugene Dalton (54) and Sheila Lewis (68) were killed in the explosion at a house in the city's Creggan area of Derry.
A third victim, 57-year-old Gerard Curran, died months later.
The attack became known as the 'Good Samaritan bomb' because the three friends had gone to check on the whereabouts of a neighbour kidnapped by the IRA.
The IRA later admitted planting the device in a bid to kill soldiers.
Nearly two decades later members of Mr Dalton's family lodged a complaint with the Police Ombudsman that the RUC had failed in its duty to protect their dad.
In July last year the Ombudsman said police had information about an IRA booby-trap but did nothing to warn residents.