A group of Chinese fishermen is suing US oil giant ConocoPhillips for 490 million yuan ($77 million) in damages allegedly caused by an oil spill, state media said Wednesday. The early-June leak released more than 3,000 barrels of oil and oil-based mud -- used as a lubricant in drilling -- off China\'s northeastern coast, drawing widespread public criticism and warnings from Chinese authorities. Lawyers for the 107 fishermen filed the case in the Tianjin Maritime Court in northern China this week, the Global Times newspaper said. An earlier lawsuit was rejected by the court in September citing lack of evidence. AFP calls to the court were not answered and a spokeswoman for ConocoPhillips said the company was not aware of the legal action. Environmental groups and local fishermen have accused the US firm and its Chinese state-run partner CNOOC of initially covering up the spill, saying it was discovered in June but only made public nearly a month later. Both firms deny the allegations. ConocoPhillips says it cooperated with authorities as soon as the accident occurred in Bohai Bay in northeast China. The State Oceanic Administration -- the government agency that supervises and manages China\'s seas -- has also said it will sue ConocoPhillips over the leak. A separate lawsuit connected to the spill has been filed in the eastern city of Qingdao by more than 200 fishermen seeking 30 million yuan in compensation.