Iowa readers may be interested to learn that the family of two people killed in the Missouri duck boat accident in July has filed a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit against the boat's owners. The accident claimed the lives of 17 passengers, including nine members of an Indiana family. The lawsuit was filed by the estates of a 76-year-old man and a 2-year-old boy from that family.
On July 19, a canopied duck boat operated by Ride the Ducks Branson sank during a severe thunderstorm. The lawsuit contends that the owners of the company knew their boats were dangerous, but they "repeatedly" placed profits above the safety of their passengers. It further contends that the captain of the boat broke company rules by not telling passengers to put on their life jackets when the storm hit. The lawsuit also claims he pulled down the boat's plastic side curtains, making it difficult for the passengers to escape as the vessel took on water and sank.
The lawsuit calls duck boats "death traps" and claims that they are a danger to the public. It references six other duck boat accidents that led to the deaths of 26 people and accuses the duck boat industry of engaging in decades of greed-driven safety violations. The Missouri accident is currently being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Fatal boating accidents can be caused by a number of factors, including poor design, improper maintenance and negligence. Families that lose loved ones in boating accidents may be able to recover damages by filing wrongful death lawsuits against the responsible parties. If a suit is successful, a family could be awarded a financial settlement that covers various damages, including funeral costs, loss of income and loss of companionship.