A group of about two dozen North Dakota landowners is suing the developer of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline for alleged deceit and fraud in acquiring land easements.

The Morton County landowners are seeking more than $4 million in damages in the federal lawsuit filed this month against Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.

The landowners maintain Dakota Access engaged in unfair tactics and fraud while negotiating to lay pipeline on private land, resulting in compensation that was as much as nine times lower than what other landowners got.

ETP spokeswoman Vicki Granado says the company believes the allegations are without merit. The company has until about the end of the month to file its response in court.