Earlier this summer, tragedy struck for 17 people that boarded the Ride the Ducks boat tour on Table Rick Lake in Missouri. What should have been an enjoyable and memorable experience turned into a tragedy that took the lives of 17 people. 31 people boarded the duck boat tour, but it sank after taking on too much water from the lake when bad weather hit. The Ride the Ducks experience encompasses both a land and a water segment of the tour. Usually, the land portion occurs before the water portion. On the day of the accident, the captain of the boat chose to do the water portion of the tour before the land portion because of bad weather in the forecast. Shortly after the boat left the dock, white cap waves and high speed winds surrounded the boat. As a result, the boat began taking on water. The boat was covered with a canopy that made it difficult to escape from the vessel in the emergency situation. The boat sank and took with it 17 lives.
The estates of three of the victims of the accident have brought a wrongful death action agaist Ripley Entertainment, which owns the duck boat tour attraction. More estates are expected to join the suit as it progresses. The suit alleges that Ripley “recklessly put the lives of its passengers at risk by ignoring storm warnings and failing to take corrective safety measures,” according to 5 News.
A wrongful death suit is a type of personal injury suit that allows the estate of a victim and certain family members/friends to seek justice for the negligence or wrongful act of another causing the death of the deceased. In the duck boat accident, the wrongful death suit is being brought by the estates of three of the victims. In order to be successful in a wrongful death action, it needs to be shown that a death of one person was the result of the negligence or wrongful act of another.
In the duck boat accident, the suit alleges that the canopies posed a safety threat that the company knew about since 2002. The National Transportation Safety Board warned in 2002 that the canopies could a hazard and hard to escape in the event of an emergency. Despite these warnings, there were no changes made. It is speculated that no changes were made because there was no law or real force behind the warnings for the company to change their practice. Additionally, the suit alleges that the captain failed to follow the proper protocol by starting the boat tour in inclement weather.
Tragedies can happen anywhere and to anyone. If you have lost a loved one because of the negligence or wrongful act of another, an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you. The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C are here to help you move forward from the tragedy of losing a loved one from the negligence of another.