WASHINGTON - A Maryland judge has effectively dismissed the remaining case in a lawsuit filed by the state of Maryland and initiated by prominent Baltimore lawyer Peter Angelos against former manufacturers of lead-based paint and pigments, the National Paint & Coatings Association reported. Judge Joseph P. McCurdy earlier had dismissed all but one claim in the suit.

In the ruling on the sole remaining claim involving alleged consumer fraud, McCurdy granted the defendant companies' motion for a summary judgment, effectively ending the case, the NPCA said. McCurdy said "voluminous" documents produced by the Angelos law firm designed to prove that the companies acted together to suppress information about the hazards of lead paint "fail to raise any material facts supporting a conspiracy." In fact, McCurdy said, the companies in the 1950s funded university research on the toxicity of lead-containing paint in order to "give the most accurate information to the consumer public" about the potential hazards and safe use of their products.