BATON ROUGE, La. — Allco Construction has filed a lawsuit against Baton Rouge-based Aptim Environmental and Infrastructure to collect millions of dollars it claims it is owed for a hurricane recovery project.

The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report writes that Allco was one of two companies selected as a subcontractor by the federal government to help rebuild around 18,000 homes in the U.S. Virgin Islands following hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

Court documents claim Aptim has failed to pay Allco under the terms of their contract despite the government already paying Aptim for the majority of the work. The lawsuit claims Aptim delayed work orders and withheld payments in order to maximize profits on the job.

The Business Report article further states that Aptim agreed to pay Allco $10 million, but never made the payment, forcing the contractor to take out loans to cover the cost of labor and materials. The attorney for Allco claims the contractor is owed more than $20 million.

In a ruling issued by 19th Judicial District Court Judge Richard “Chip” Moore III, the two companies previously agreed that arbitration was “only one means by which disputes could be resolved between parties,” opening the path for Allco’s suit to continue.

A hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 9 on a motion by Allco to hold Aptim liable for unfair trade practices.