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Duck boat survivor Tia Coleman blasts company's legal move

Posted at 6:14 AM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 13:50:01-04

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) - A survivor of a July tourist boat accident that killed 17 people in Missouri and attorneys representing deceased family members are calling the latest legal filing by two companies facing multiple lawsuits insulting and insensitive.

The attorneys also said Monday night in a statement that there have been no settlement offers.

In their filing, lawyers for Florida-based Ripley Entertainment Inc. and Missouri-based Branson Duck Vehicles cited an 1851 federal law that allows vessel owners to try to avoid or limit legal damages. They said under its terms, the companies are not liable for any damages.

But a Ripley spokeswoman said the company is seeking mediation toward settling all claims.

Robert J. Mongeluzzi is a Philadelphia attorney representing many of the accident victims and called the filing "frivolous." Survivor Tia Coleman also decried the filing.

"Ripley’s legal claim that my husband and children are worthless is incredibly hurtful and insensitive," Coleman said. "Anyone who cares about people or has any human decency should boycott Ripley and their attractions.”