The owner of a shrimping boat has filed a lawsuit against the owner of a larger vessel after the vessel caused a substantial wake and sank his shrimping boat.

Christopher Bernard and F/V LA 9248 BU filed suit against Otto Candies and M/V Claire Candies on Sept. 8 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on May 21, as Bernard's 28-foot shrimping vessel was moored in its slip at Four Point Landing in the Houma Navigational Canal. Bernard states the defendant's vessel, traveling at a speed between 7.8 to 8.3 knots, caused a substantial vessel wake and overcame Bernard's shrimp boat, causing it to sink.

At the time of the incident, the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers were at or near record flood stage and as a result, the Coast Guard had ordered a "no wake" zone in the area of the Houma Navigational Canal near the Four Point Marina.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to observe the "no wake" zone and for failing to mind its wake, for which it is responsible.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of property damage, loss of revenue, loss of catch and resulting profits, costs associated with the salvage expense, inconvenience, punitive damages, attorney's fees, and court costs.

Bernard is represented by Thibodaux attorney Nicholas J. Zeringue. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02246

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