by: Beth Finello, Ozarks First
There is new information regarding the dozens of lawsuits against Ripley Entertainment in relation to the duck boat sinking that killed 17 people in July of 2018.
As of Wednesday, over half of the 33 civil cases have been settled.
Court documents acquired by OzarksFirst detail where all of the lawsuits stand.
The first case to settle was last November involving the family of Janice and William Bright from Higginsville. The husband and wife died on the duck boat.
These documents also show that settlements have been reached for some of the Coleman Family, including Tia Coleman who lost her three children, husband, and other relatives.
The family of William Asher has settled. He and Rosemarie Hamann were from St. Louis and died on the duck boat.
Several other families of victims agreed to settle but it is unknown for how much. That information has not been released at this time.
There are still 14 cases in negotiations or plan to have mediation in the future. The family of Leslie Dennison, from Illinois, who died in the accident while her granddaughter survived, is one of them.
Those court documents can be found here.
Ripley Entertainment released this statement:
“The report that was filed with the court demonstrates Branson Ride The Ducks’ continuing commitment to work with the victims and families who were affected by the unprecedented storm and resulting accident that occurred last July. While we know lives lost cannot be replaced, the report outlines that we have reached settlements with many of the families, and continue to work with others. Out of respect for the privacy of the families, we will not discuss the details of any settlement.”
There are still other lawsuits against Ride the Ducks International, involving products liability. A judge will have to determine whether or not Table Rock Lake is a navigable waterway. If not, the manufacturers of the duck boats could be held liable for additional damages. Those courts documents can be found by clicking here.
On July 19, 2019, the anniversary of the duck boat sinking, OzarksFirst will air a special one-hour show where dozens of people will talk about the accident.