$100 Million Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed for Duck Boat Fatalities  

photo_5152_20080305-1-300x225Family of two victims of the fatal duck boat accident in Branson, Missouri earlier this month have filed a $100 million lawsuit. The July 19th accident killed 17 people. The attorney in the wrongful death lawsuit says the company was negligent for taking 29 passengers on the lake with prior knowledge of a strong storm predicted. The lawsuit also claims the duck boat operators have long known that the boats had safety concerns and failed to heed recommendations from a federal agency to make the boats safer. The lawsuit names multiple defendants including Ripley Entertainment Inc., Ride the Ducks International, Ride the Ducks of Branson, the Herschend Family Entertainment Corp., and Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing. As Rhode Island injury lawyers experienced with wrongful death lawsuits, Tapalian Law knows these types of wrongful death cases are extremely trying for the families who are struggling to come to terms with the loss of their loved one(s) and get answers as to why and how such a tragic and unnecessary accident occurred in the first place.

Wrongful Death Lawyer Won $17 million in Past Duck Boat Tragedy

The attorney who filed the wrongful death lawsuit in the Branson, MO case, Robert J. Mongeluzzi, claims the duck boats are “death traps” and “sinking coffins” and his goal is to ultimately have them banned. The lawsuit cites the operators past history of safety issues and accuses them of ignoring prior safety recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board, such as removing a canopy that prevents passengers from escaping if the boat takes on water. Attorney Mongeluzzi has a history of past success with a similar duck boat case. In 2012, he settled a $17 million case in the wrongful deaths of 2 victims killed in a 2010 duck boat accident in Philadelphia. Of the settlement, $15 million went to the families of the 2 young victims and the remaining $2 million went to the other crash survivors.

Fatalities and injuries from a leisure activity like these duck boats seem they would be rare. However, since 1999, 26 people have been killed in duck boat accidents- not including the most recent tragedy in Missouri. In 1999, 13 people were killed in an Arkansas accident making it the second most fatal duck boat related tragedy. Last year, duck boats were under fire in Boston, Massachusetts due to a pedestrian fatality caused by one of the vehicles on land. Further safety regulations were put into place in Massachusetts after the deadly incident, as explained in a Tapalian Law Rhode Island Accident Lawyer Blog.

How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Rhode Island

The wrongful death law in Rhode Island entitles an eligible person, usually a spouse, child, or parent, to purse and recover damages on behalf of a deceased person whose death was caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another. Wrongful death cases are commonly brought by the families of victims deceased in car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, or work-related accidents. There is a three-year statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Rhode Island. This time period begins after the death of the person caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default is discovered, or should have been reasonably discovered. The amount of compensation recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit varies widely. A skilled Rhode Island wrongful death attorney who knows the details of your case can provide you an estimate of what they expect is reasonable to pursue, though the final determination won’t be known until the damages are awarded. Damages awarded are based on a number of factors including the deceased’s income, hospital and medical expenses incurred, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

Contact a RI Wrongful Death Attorney at Tapalian Law

There is no amount of money that can bring back or replace the loss of a loved one. Often times the damages awarded in a Rhode Island wrongful death case can assist a remaining spouse, child or other family member with expenses associated with the death as well as long-term loss of support from the deceased victim. David Tapalian is an experienced wrongful death lawyer who has helped Rhode Island families recover compensation for the loss of a loved one in an accident. Tapalian Law offers a free consultation for your wrongful death or injury claim. We are easily accessible with offices in Providence, RI and Seekonk, MA. Contact the RI and MA injury lawyers at Tapalian Law today at


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