BALTIMORE - A Maryland judge ordered the dismissal of most of the claims in a lead-paint lawsuit filed on behalf of six children affected by lead poisoning in Baltimore. The judge had earlier dismissed claims made on behalf of up to 1 million Maryland homeowners.

The judge's ruling dismissed claims against the National Paint & Coatings Association and the Lead Industries Association, and also dismissed counts against DuPont Co., PPG Industries Inc. and Ethyl Corp.

Regarding the two trade groups, the NPCA said the court's decision was based on "the complete absence of allegations meeting legal requirements, and the fact that these trade associations could not be considered 'agents' for the purported actions of individual corporate heads, among other reasons."

NPCA Vice President and General Counsel Thomas J. Graves said the ruling represents a major victory for the industry over prominent Baltimore attorney Peter Angelos, who had filed the suit. "This seems to be the proverbial third-strike in Maryland for Angelos in these kinds of cases," Graves said.