Judge declines to dismiss suit filed by owners of ship

April 20, 1999|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A U.S. District Court judge has denied a motion by attorneys for the state to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the owners of the Sanctuary, a former Navy hospital ship planned as a site for the rehabilitation of female drug addicts.

The board of Project Life, a nonprofit corporation, has charged that the Maryland Port Administration is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act by refusing to negotiate a long-term lease for the ship at the port of Baltimore. Without a lease, they say, they cannot begin the program.

In a two-page ruling, Judge William M. Nickerson wrote that while the shipboard program may be "out of the ordinary," the statutes may apply to it, depending on facts that could come out during discovery.

A port advisory council decided last week that the port administration could begin negotiating a lease with Project Life for one of the port's inactive piers.

Pub Date: 4/20/99

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