Herschend Family Entertainment Ride The Ducks Lawsuit – On Sunday, July 29, 2018, a lawsuit (see video below) was filed after after a thunderstorm struck on Thursday, July 19, 2018, sinking a Ride The Ducks boat cruising on Table Rock Lake, in Missouri. We reported twice on this incident.
The lawsuit names as defendants:
- Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation
- Ride The Ducks International
- Ride The Ducks of Branson
- Ripley Entertainment, Inc.
- Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing
The Lawsuit plaintiffs include:
- Lisa D. Berry
- Ervin Coleman
- John D. Coleman
- Maxwell Ly
- Marlo Rose Wells
Herschend Family Entertainment – The Herschend Family Entertainment website states, “Herschend Family Entertainment owns, operates and manages family-oriented theme parks and attractions across the country. The two co-owners Jack Herschend and Pete Herschend both reside in Branson, Missouri.
Committed for more than half a century to Creating Memories Worth Repeating®, we work daily to create wholesome, immersive entertainment experiences with soul and depth. Experiences for every generation of your family. Sometimes thrilling. Sometimes lighthearted. Always distinctive. Our award-winning theme parks, entertainment and attractions aim to inspire happiness and family bonding.
Today, we are considered the nation’s largest family-owned themed attractions corporation. As a part of the family of entertainment companies within the Herschend Enterprises portfolio, our team of more than 10,000 employees creates, develops and operates entertainment, tourism and hospitality properties that currently span 23 locations in six states.”
We take great pride in owning and partnering in leading theme parks including Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, and Dollywood in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains of which Dolly Parton is our partner.”
Coleman et al v. Ripley Entertainment lawsuit alleges:
- On July 19, 2018, seventeen people had their lives tragically and horrifically taken from them when the Ride the Ducks Stretch Duck 07 Duck Boat sank to the bottom of Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri.
- As Stretch Duck 07 sank, the canopy of the Duck Boat entrapped passengers anddragged them to the bottom of the lake with the Duck Boat
- On that day, Defendant, Ripley Entertainment, Inc. (“Ripley”), operatedStretch Duck 07 and recklessly risked the lives of its passengers for purely financial reasons.
- 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 andrefunding the patrons’ money
- Stretch Duck 07 was designed and manufactured by Defendants, Ride the Ducks, International, LLC, Ride the Ducks of Branson, LLC, Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation and/or Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing, LLC. These Defendants will be collectively referred to as “RTDI”, unless otherwise indicated.
- This tragedy was the predictable and predicted result of decades of unacceptable, greed-driven, and willful ignorance of safety by the Duck Boat industry in the face of specificand repeated warnings that their Duck Boats are death traps for passengers and pose grave danger to the public on water and on land.
- Prior to this catastrophe, the Duck Boat industry knew that their Duck Boats wereentirely unfit to be used for any purpose and had previously been responsible for dozens ofdeaths.
- Prior to killing seventeen people in Branson, injuring fourteen others, and ruining the lives of countless more, Defendants had been told that design flaws in the Duck Boats made them more susceptible to sinking.
- On numerous occasions before July 19, 2018, Defendants were warned that the canopies used on their Duck Boats were dangerous and created death traps for passengers in the event of emergency.
- For two decades, Defendants had been repeatedly told to change the design oftheir Duck Boats to make them safer, but they entirely ignored these warnings.
- As recently as August 2017, Defendants were again warned that the dangerous design of their Duck Boats put their vessels at risk of sinking
- Upon information and belief, in August 2017, prior to purchasing the Branson operations of RTDI, Ripley hired an inspector, Steven Paul, to inspect the Branson Duck Boats
- Defendants were told by Steven Paul that their Duck Boats’ engines and the bilge pumps that remove water from their hulls might fail in bad weather due to the improper placement of the boats’ exhaust system.
- Defendants did nothing in response to these warnings.
- Despite the fact that Defendants knew their Duck Boats were unfit to be used even in ideal conditions, on the date of this catastrophe, Defendants’ greed caused them to ignore severe weather conditions that demanded they cancel all trips scheduled for their Duck Boats.
- Despite countless explicit warnings, Defendants repeatedly chose to value profits over the safety of their passengers, and sent Stretch Duck 07 and thirty-one people out on Table Rock Lake on July 19, 2018, where the vessel took on water and sank to the bottom of the lake, dragging seventeen innocent victims to their avoidable deaths and causing life-altering injuries to the fourteen passengers who survived.
Gofundme Accounts Created
In addition to the lawsuit, there are eleven GofundMe pages set-up. As of today, the total raised from all accounts is $780,594. The eleven accounts are:
Branson Duck Boat Victim Bill Asher – $1,260 raised of $10,000
Coleman Duck Boat Survivors – $757,254 raised of $1.0M
Ride The Ducks Branson Tragedy – $395 raised of $150,000
Coleman Branson Incident – $2,162 raised of $70,000
Family’s lost on the ducks – $10 raised of $10,000
Ride The Ducks Sinking In Branson – $0 raised of $5,000
Support Tyler Hutchinson And Family – $16,036 raised of $15,000
Tia Strong – $1,642 raised of $100,000
Tablerock Lake Duck Tragedy 2018 – $1,835 raised of $10,000
duck boat survivors – $0 raised of $500,000
Bronson Duck Boat Survivors – $0 raised of $15
- Ride The Ducks Third Mass Passenger Deaths Incident
- Ride The Ducks Coleman Family Deaths Five Gofundme
- Coleman et al v. Ripley Entertainment – (On file)
- Ride The Duck Branson
- Weather Wunderground – Branson, MO July 19, 2018
- NTSB Determines Cause of 1999 “Duck” Boat Sinking (pdf file)
- NTSB Mate’s distraction lead to fatal 2010 “duck boat” accident (pdf file)
Video:Duck Boat Crash Victims’ Lawsuit