Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against seven companies involved in the Flint water crisis, claiming their “acts and omission constitute professional negligence, fraud and public nuisance.”
The Detroit Free Press reports the defendants (which include a water company and an engineering firm) are all related to two companies that worked with the city of Flint. The civil suit against Veolia North America, Leo A. Daly Co., and Lockwood, Andrews & Newman argues that the defendants “knew or should have known that high chloride levels in the Flint River would make the water corrosive without significant treatment, and that the corrosion would result in dangerous levels of lead for residents served by the City’s many lead pipes,” the court filing says.
Schuette has previously brought criminal charges against a city employee and two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials over the crisis.
Several of the companies did not respond to the Free Press’s requests for comment. In statement to TIME, a spokesperson for LAN refuted the charge. “The Attorney General specifically referred to a decision not to provide appropriate corrosion control, which resulted in a significant decline in water quality, a decision that was made by the City and the MDEQ, not by LAN. Contrary to statements by the Attorney General, LAN was not hired to operate the plant and had no responsibility for water quality, but, and although LAN was not asked, LAN had regularly advised that corrosion control should be added and that the system needed to be fully tested before going online.”
Read more at the Detroit Free Press.