NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — The court battle between two nonprofit organizations centered around the Seacor power disaster continued in Iberia parish today.

Greg Akers stated, “Mr. Derouen had filed a lawsuit against my client some time ago, we argued what’s called an exception of no cause of action. We won that exception, and as a result of that, Mr. Derouen was given an opportunity to amend his petition. And that’s what we were arguing about today, whether or not that amendment stated a claim that the court can give them something for.”

In April of 2021, the Seacor power lift boat capsized in the gulf of Mexico, leading to a search and rescue mission from the United Cajun Navy (UNC) and local volunteers.

After UNC called off their search, those volunteers kept scouring the area, making sure no stone was left unturned. The volunteers later formed Gulf coast humanitarian efforts, a non-profit organization, to help the families of the Seacor crew members.

The petition states the public’s donations totaled almost $400,000. In the seven-page petition, the United Cajun Navy is accused of donating only a portion of the money. “The undeniable stone cold truth is they have only, and only claim to have such, paid out $65,000 dollars. And at the time we had hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we’re not using it to find these men. So are you really trying to find these men or are you just trying to make money?” asked Christifer Derouen.

Today’s hearing had the same result as the hearing back in February. That when judge Suzanne DeMahy ruled there was no cause of action in the petition. According to the ruling, a donation must be fulfilled or have a written contract, not just the verbal agreement claimed by Derouen. However, judge DeMahy did grant Gulf coast humanitarian efforts 30 days to amend the petition a third time to clarify statements.

“We’ll amend the petition. We’re still going to move forward. We believe that our right to discovery will lead to opening those doors which will grant us the cause of action for the transfer of funds. We assume they’ll have their own rebuttals and we’ll be back here arguing again, but we’re not going to quit, so this isn’t over,” stated Christifer Derouen.

“My understanding is that the plaintiffs plan to amend their petition for a third time and try again,” stated Greg Akers.

Another hearing will be scheduled following the submission of amendments by attorneys representing Gulf coast humanitarian efforts.