A duck boat is generally a repurposed military surplus DUKW or LAR-V. They primarily take place in coastal cities, harbors, as well as lake and river towns. While generally safe, some duck boats are only rated to operate when the weather is fair. However, some duck boat operators have been accused of chasing profit over the safety of their guests, as is the case in the recent Branson, Missouri duck boat accident that claimed 17 lives, nine of them from the same family. One of those families is suing the operators, as reported by the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.
Ride the Ducks Branson owner Ripley Entertainment is facing two multi-million dollar lawsuits filed by the surviving family members of a July 19th sinking that claimed 17 lives.
Surviving members of the Coleman family filed the lawsuit on Sunday seeking $100 million dollars in damages. A separate suit was filed by three sisters whose parents were killed in the accident.
In the filing for the Coleman family, attorneys noted that the owner of the duck tour, Ripley Entertainment, “recklessly risked the lives of passengers for purely financial reasons.”
The filing went on to state that despite knowing that severe weather was impending, the tour company decided to go ahead with the tour rather than refunding the passengers’ money.
The second lawsuit, filed by the daughters of William and Janice Bright, made similar claims, stating that the boat operators were well aware of the approaching storm, but in pursuit of profit, decided to try and hold the tour before the storm hit.
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