Ripley Entertainment, owner of Ride the Ducks Branson, has been hit with a US$100 million lawsuit following an accident earlier in July that killed 17 people.
On July 19, the duck boat Stretch Duck 07 capsized and sank to the bottom of Table Rock Lake.
The lawsuit alleges that “despite being aware of impending severe weather conditions, Ripley intentionally decided to take the Duck Boat out onto Table Rock Lake instead of cancelling the tour and refunding the patrons’ money.”
The lawsuit also claims that the Ripley Entertainment was aware of issues with the safety of the design, particularly in regards to the vessel’s canopy, which it argues trapped the passengers.
“For two decades, Defendants had been repeatedly told to change the design of their Duck Boats to make them safer, but they entirely ignored these warnings,” the lawsuit reads.
A spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment said the company was “deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred in Branson and we are supportive of the affected families.”
In response to the lawsuit, the spokeswoman said Ripley could not comment until an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board is completed.
Stretch Duck 07 was designed and manufactured by Ride the Ducks.
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