RALEIGH, N.C. — Nine neighbors living near Duke Energy’s unlined coal ash pits want North Carolina courts to block the nation’s largest electric company from offering a $5,000 payment to neighbors that give up the option of suing over future water problems.

The lawsuit Wednesday seeks to include most of the roughly 1,000 homeowners living near 13 of the company’s coal-burning power plants offered the deal earlier this year.

A state law requires the company to install by late next year either new municipal water lines or a household water treatment system to homes within a half mile of coal ash sites.

Neighbors agreeing to forego future litigation are being offered the $5,000 payment and one-time payments to cover about 25 years of water bills resulting from new public water connections.