IN family files second lawsuit in Branson duck boat sinking

  • IN family files second lawsuit in Branson duck boat sinking

IN family files second lawsuit in Branson duck boat sinking

Relatives of two drowning victims are seeking $100 million in damages after 17 people died on an amphibious "Ride the Ducks" vehicle in Missouri 10 days ago.

Seventeen people - including nine members of one IN family- were killed on July 19 when the vehicle went down IN Table Rock Lake IN Branson, Mo., amid high winds and waves, Buzzfeed News reported on Monday. Attorneys representing the estates of two of them -76-year-old Ervin Coleman, and 2-year-old Maxell Coleman - filed a lawsuit in federal court against Ride the Ducks Branson and its parent company, Ripley Entertainment Inc., among other defendants.

A second lawsuit was filed Monday in state court on behalf of three daughters of William and Michelle Bright, of Higginsville, Missouri, who died in the accident. They allege that the owners and operators of the Ride the Ducks boat put profits over people's safety when they made a decision to put the boat on a lake despite severe weather warnings and design problems.

The Coleman family's lead lawyer, Robert Mongeluzzi of Philadelphia, has always been an outspoken critic of duck boats.

It also alleges McDowell designed and developed the stretch duck boats, including the Stretch Duck O7 that sank, despite having no engineering training.

Michael Thomas via Getty Images A lawsuit filed on Sunday accuses "Ride the Ducks" operators of ignoring safety recommendations after previous deaths.

Attorney Robert Mongeluzzi said the problem with duck boats are the canopies.

Michael Thomas/Getty Images An evening candlelight prayer vigil in Branson, Missouri, after 17 people died aboard a duck boat on July 19.

"It was clear they knew severe weather was coming".

Suzanne Smagala, a spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, said in a statement to The Hill that the company was "deeply saddened by the tragic accident" and are supporting the affected families.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the sinking.

The man who steered a duck boat on a Missouri lake as a thunderstorm approached is heard on video earlier as saying he checked weather radar before the two-man crew set out with 29 tourists aboard, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Ripley Entertainment, which operates Ride the Ducks Branson, said in a statement to ABC News it could not provide comment on the report.

Separately, the Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office confirmed Monday that it has opened a criminal investigation under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act duck boat incident. The vessel contained life jackets, but passengers weren't required to wear them, according to Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader. Add Duck Boat Accident as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Duck Boat Accident news, video, and analysis from ABC News. Williams operated the boat on land and was among those who died. It also says the captain violated protocol by not telling passengers to put on life jackets when the water got rough and instead lowering plastic side curtains, "thus further entrapping passengers in the soon-to-sink vessel". While the boat typically started on land before entering the water, Mongeluzzi said the boat crew switched the sequence that day.

On Friday, the NTSB released an initial report following a review of video recordings, and within four minutes of being on the water, whitecaps rapidly appeared on the water and wind speeds increased around 7 p.m.