Blackbeard's ship case about images returns to trial court

FILE- In this May 27, 2011 file photo, a 3,000 pound anchor from what is believed to be the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard's flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, is recovered from the ocean where it has been since 1718, in Beaufort Inlet, in Carteret County N.C. John Masters of Florida-based Intersal Inc. says he plans to seek $140 million in damages from the state following the ruling from the North Carolina Supreme Court that the case must return to Business Court. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Following a favorable court hearing, a treasure hunter accusing the state of North Carolina of misusing his images from Blackbeard's flagship says he'll ask for 10 times the damages he originally sought.

John Masters of Florida-based Intersal Inc. says he'll seek $140 million in damages after the North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday ordered the case returned Business Court. Masters said Friday that an expert witness puts Intersal's losses from the state's use of images and video at $129 million. He's seeking $11 million for losses regarding a permit for another ship.

Almost a quarter-century ago, Masters' father discovered Queen Anne's Revenge, which ran aground in Beaufort in 1718.

A state spokeswoman declined to comment.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a separate case about the ship Tuesday.

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