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Company that owns duck boat ride where Indy family was killed wants some lawsuits dropped

Posted at 10:21 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-01 23:47:11-04

MISSOURI - The company that owns the duck boat ride that sank back in July, killing 17 people is asking a judge to dismiss several of the lawsuits filed against them. 

In motions filed Monday, Ripley Entertainment Inc., which owns the Ride the Ducks operation in Branson, said the boat's sinking on July 19 at Table Rock Lake was "an unforeseeable and unintentional occurrence."

READ | Coast Guard finds probable cause duck boat sank because of captain's negligence

Ripley argues that the language in the lawsuits is emotional and prejudicial and "unfairly vilifies the Defendants such that no fair trial could ever be had."

The company also says that the duck boats complied with U.S. Coast Guard regulations and that the July 19 tragedy was their first significant accident in 47 years. 

READ | Indy woman who lost family on duck boat files lawsuit | $100 millionlawsuitfiled on behalf of duck boat victims |  Second lawsuit filed by Indy family

Among the 17 that died were nine members of one Indianapolis family who were vacationing in Missouri. Tia Coleman and her nephew were the only two members of the family to survive.

Tia filed a $300 million lawsuit against Ripley at the beginning of September. Two other lawsuits were filed on behalf of other family members in July for $100 million each.

Numerous other lawsuits have also been filed by relatives and survivors of those who died on the boat. They contend the owners and operators of the duck boats ignored weather warnings the day the boat sank and didn't heed long-standing warnings about the safety of the boats' design.

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