MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. The duck boat accident that killed 17 people in Missouri reached national headlines and broke hearts. Now, CNN reports that a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the duck boat company. After the duck boat accident took place, there were many questions in the media about how the accident could have happened, and why the accident occurred.
According to Time magazine, duck boats have been shown to have safety issues in certain situations. For example, duck vehicles have a wide blind spot, which can put them at more risk of accidents on the road. The other problem that duck boats have is that the canopy on the boats can trap people inside the vehicles if they begin to sink. This isn’t the first time a canopy on these boats has left people dead. In 1999, the National Transportation Safety Board found that duck boats’ canopies could be deadly traps. In that year, in Arkansas, 13 people died when a duck boat sank.
Safety experts recommended that duck boat operators install canopies that would allow passengers to escape from the boats. The canopy installed in the duck boat accident in Missouri appears to be the more dangerous kind—the kind that trapped people inside.
Why didn’t the boat owners remove the canopy? Some believe that the owners may have kept the canopies on because it permitted the boats to continue operating on colder days. The lawyers in the $100 million lawsuit claim that duck boats are not safe to operate especially as tourist attractions.
Another issue in the accident is why passengers weren’t wearing their life jackets. The captain of the boat allegedly informed passengers where the life jackets were but told them that they would not need them.
The families named in the lawsuit hope that the case will either have the effect of banning duck boats or requiring the industry to change its boats so that the hazards that presently exist will be eliminated. At the very least, the canopies should be updated so that people can escape in the event of a sinking, or they should be removed altogether. Others also claim that some of the older boats might require additional maintenance to ensure that they’d be buoyant in choppy conditions. Duck boats were first used in WWII, and were instrumental during the D-day invasion of Normandy. That said, those boats didn’t have canopies and their passengers were armed soldiers with special training.
The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino has its thoughts with the families affected by this terrible duck boat tragedy. Our firm works closely with victims and families who have been hurt in car accidents in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you or a loved one was injured due to the neglect or negligence of another person or party, you may have rights under the law. Visit us at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more.
THE LAW OFFICE OF MARTIN T. MONTILINO, LLC
3109 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 236-1320