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Duck Boat Operators Ignored Weather Alerts: $100M Suit

Faulty canopies, pumps also cited in complaint against owners, operators of Missouri vessel
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 30, 2018 8:21 AM CDT
The duck boat that sank in Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., is raised July 23, 2018.   (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP)

(Newser) – A lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages has been filed against the owners and operators of a duck boat that sank July 19 on a Missouri lake, killing 17 people. The federal lawsuit was filed Sunday on behalf of two members of an Indiana family who lost nine relatives when the boat sank on Table Rock Lake in Branson, the AP reports. Others killed were from Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas. The complaint accuses Ride the Ducks Branson owner Ripley Entertainment and others of ignoring bad weather warnings that day and of knowing that design flaws made the boats susceptible to sinking.

Per WDAF, the lawsuit references a 2002 National Transportation Safety Board report that calls out duck boat canopies, noting that the canopies "essentially caged them (the passengers), making escape in limited time available extremely difficult." The suit also mentions a 2017 inspector's report that cited improperly placed bilge pumps that had the potential to fail in inclement weather. The legal team that filed the lawsuit has litigated previous wrongful-death cases involving duck boats. Lawyers from the team plan a news conference later Monday.

(Read more duck boat stories.)

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