$100 Million Wrongful Death Suit Filed In Duck Boat Sinking
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The attorneys of families in Indianapolis who lost family members on the “Ride the Ducks” boat tour on Table Rock Lake filed a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit Sunday against Ripley Entertainment.
According to our Kansas City affiliate Fox4, The lawsuit also alleges outrageous conduct and negligence and was filed on behalf of the estates of Ervin Coleman and Maxwell Lye, some of the 17 victims who died when the duck boat sank July 19 after a severe thunderstorm blew up rapidly and wind and waves swamped the boat.
The boat was carrying 31 people at the time of the storm. Two duck boats were on Table Rock Lake as the storm approached and tried to race back to shore as the storm struck. One boat made it, but the other sank.
The lawsuit claims Ripley Entertainment recklessly put the lives of its passengers in danger by ignoring storm warning and failing to take corrective safety measures. The suit also claims Ripley ignored safety warnings over the past 20 years about the dangers the duck boat canopies pose during an emergency.
The lawsuit also said the company didn’t heed warnings from inspector Steven Paul, who told Ripley in August 2017 that the boat’s bilge pumps, which remove water from the boat, could fail in bad weather because they were placed improperly in the exhaust system.
The lawsuit cites several deaths related to duck boat tragedies, including the 1999 sinking of a duck boat on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, where 13 people drowned.