Eight family members who survived July’s Duck Boat incident in Branson have filed a federal lawsuit in Kansas City. The litigation is led by the same Philadelphia law firm that has brought three lawsuits on behalf of the Coleman family which lost nine relatives in the mishap.
The plaintiffs in the latest case are 64-year-old Ronita McKinley, her two daughters, and three minors along with Mckinley’s husband and one of her daughters’ husband who were not on board the sunken vessel.
The new lawsuit is the second announced this week, and the second to be filed after federal prosecutors sought to freeze litigation until a criminal investigation is over.
Attorneys in the latest suit say the survivors are “forever scarred” by the horrific experience that includes witnessing the deaths of other passengers.
The defendants in the lawsuit are Ripley Entertainment, Branson Duck Vehicles, Ride the Ducks International, Ride the Ducks of Branson, Herschend Family Entertainment and Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing.
The family is requesting an unspecified amount of money, but also asks that the defendants “immediately cease the manufacturing and operation of all duck boats in the U.S. and abroad.”
The complaint also demands that all others in the duck boat industry cease operations until duck boats are made unsinkable and their canopies are removed.
The lawsuit says despite a threatening forecast, duck boat personnel changed the schedule of the trip, choosing to do the water portion first, because they thought they could beat the storm.
This is the latest of at least six lawsuits filed since the tragedy occurred on southwest Missouri’s Table Rock Lake. The Coleman family of Indianapolis, Indiana, which lost nine of eleven family members aboard the Branson Duck Boat that sank, has filed three of the complaints.
In addition, three daughters are suing on behalf of their parents who were victims on the boat. Also, Jennifer Asher, daughter of 69-year-old William Asher, who died in mishap filed a complaint in late August.
To read the full lawsuit, click here.
Missourinet media partner KOLR-TV contributed this report with additional reporting from Missourinet’s Jason Taylor