USA: 2 cos. deny liability for deaths of 17 people after tourist boat sank in storm

Author: Matthew Haag, New York Times (USA), Published on: 24 October 2018

"Operators in Fatal Duck Boat Accident Say They Owe Families Nothing, Citing Obscure 1851 Law", 18 Oct 2018

Two companies that operated the Missouri tourist boat that sank during a storm in July, killing 17 people, have invoked a 19th century federal maritime law to claim that they owe no money to the victims’ family members who have filed multiple lawsuits.  The operators, Ripley Entertainment and Branson Duck Vehicles, filed a lawsuit...seeking to take advantage of an 1851 law that could limit their financial liability...The vessel...is now worthless and had no freight, so the companies owe $0, their lawyers argued...[T]he filing by the companies angered survivors and the victims’ family members...A lawyer..., Robert J. Mongeluzzi, said he would file a response in court arguing that the maritime law does not apply in this case...More than two dozen lawsuits, filed in both federal and state court, have been brought against Ripley, which owns the Ride the Ducks operation on Table Rock Lake, or Branson Duck Vehicles, which owned the boat that sank...

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Related companies: Ripley Entertainment