A Dulac business is suing a 42-foot sailboat in order to obtain a maritime salvage award for a recent rescue operation.

TOPS LLC sued the sailing vessel Theresa Law together with her equipment and appurtenances Aug. 10 in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana in a June admiralty and maritime claim.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff operates a derrick barge with related service vessels off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. The suit states that the Theresa Law was found adrift and abandoned within the plaintiff’s work site on or about June 19 while TOPS was at work deconstructing platforms for a client.

The lawsuit states that the plaintiff secured it to an anchor buoy, contacted the owner, learned that the vessel was abandoned following mechanical failure, and towed it to shore at its own cost.

TOPS asserts that it is entitled to compensation for extra fuel, man hours and equipment invested in the rescue and claims a maritime lien and salvage award against the vessel in an amount in excess of $49,661.40, its declared expenses.

Requesting that the vessel be condemned and sold to pay the judgment, the plaintiff also seeks attorney’s fees, expenses, and court costs. TOPS is represented by George J. Nalley Jr. and Andrew Miner of Nalley and Dew in Metairie.

U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana Case 2:15-cv-03370-EEF-SS

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