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Lead-paint plaintiffs claim Housing Authority is stalling

The bitter legal feud over unpaid damages for lead-paint poisoning victims by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City is heating up.

Wednesday, attorneys for two plaintiffs filed a motion in Baltimore City Circuit Court claiming the HABC was “attempting to stall” the sale of nearly two dozen vehicles tagged by deputies of the Baltimore Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 3. The vehicles were to be auctioned to pay part of a $2.6 million court-ordered judgment to two former public housing tenants found to have been poisoned by lead paint.

A writ of execution for the vehicle levy was signed by a city judge in November.

On Friday, the housing authority filed a motion to quash the levy in the city Circuit Court.

In response, the plaintiffs filed a counter motion Wednesday and are seeking an expedited hearing, possibly next week, said attorney Evan M. Goldman.

“HABC is simply attempting to stall the sale of property under levy, including expending unnecessary sums of taxpayer funds to research and include largely frivolous arguments in the motion to quash,” the motion filed Wednesday afternoon said.

Cheron Porter, spokeswoman for the HABC, did not respond to a request for comment on the motion Wednesday.

Last week, HABC attorneys filed a motion to quash the levy, claiming the potential seizure and sale of the vehicles would harm the daily operations of the authority and “threaten its solvency.”

The ruling in the case is on appeal before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

In the motion filed by plaintiffs Antonio Fulgham and Brittany McCutcheon, who are siblings, attorneys argued the HABC should be required to post a bond to ensure the damages while the appeal is pending.