LAFAYETTE – Two Vermillion Parish men are suing the owners of the marine vessel Southern Belle, claiming the boat entered a shared waterway too quickly and capsized their fishing vessel.

Benjamin Lee Hines Sr. and Andrius Damone Vitto filed a lawsuit Jan. 7 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette-Opelousas Division, against Southern States Offshore Inc., alleging negligence and personal injury liability.

According to the complaint, Hines and Vitto were fishing on Sept. 27, 2014, in a recreational vessel near Maxie’s Grocery Store near Intracoastal City in Vermillion Parish. The suit says the Southern Belle was moving too fast for the prevailing conditions when it entered the waterway with the plaintiffs, creating a wake that capsized their smaller boat. Hines claims injuries to his lower back, neck and body, whereas Vitto says he suffered injuries to his back left knee and body.

The plaintiffs seek monetary damages to be proven at trial plus interest and court costs. They are represented by attorneys Lawrence Blake Jones and Kristi A. Post and Lawrence Blake Jones of Scheuermann & Jones LLC in New Orleans.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana Case number 6:15-CV-00033

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