Superior Boatworks Inc., which earlier filed for federal bankruptcy protection due to debts involved in the building of the Lady Luck Casino, Wednesday filed a $46 million lawsuit against the Natchez-based gambling operation.

A spokeswoman with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Aberdeen said the ''adversary action" complaint arrived by mail on Wednesday.The suit is permitted under Chapter 11 bankruptcy laws that are designed to protect a financially troubled company from creditors while it restructures its debts.

In addition to seeking what it claims is payment due for actual work, Superior's suit also alleges that it was promised contracts for the construction of three other gambling vessels and was told to buy three barges for conversion. It charges that Lady Luck reneged on its first contract.

The Greenville company alleges in the suit that it lost millions in hull- modification work and would have made up to $20 million had it completed all three conversions.

Another $20 million is requested due to what the company calls the damage its reputation sustained in the wake of its filing for Chapter 11 reorganization.

The bankruptcy filing and the suit followed the filing in July of about a dozen suits by mainly local subcontractors against both Lady Luck and Superior in the dispute's wake.

The company alleges the dispute occurred in large part due to the Lady Luck's asking for the construction to be started before plans for the boat were even complete.

"In fact, defendants never produced a complete set of plans until about the time of completion," the suit charges.