Indianapolis Family Suing Manufacturer of Duck Boats After 2018 Tragedy

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In July of 2018, Tia Coleman and her nephew managed to survive a tragic boating accident involving a duck boat right outside of Branson, Missouri. They were on the boat with nine other family members, including Coleman’s husband and children. All told, seventeen (17) people were killed in the boating accident.

This week, the National Traffic Safety Board released its report with official findings from the crash. They said that the accident involving Stretch Duck 7, the boat involved in the tragedy, could have been prevented.

According to the report, Ripley Entertainment, the company that owned the duck boat, ignored safety recommendations made as far back as 2002. And, regarding this accident, the Board found that the company was negligent in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Ignored weather reports the morning of the accident that predicted thunderstorms
  • The Coast Guard should’ve required the company to equip their duck boats with a reserve buoyancy
  • The Coast Guard also didn’t do enough to ensure the company offered emergency escape options on the canopied duck boat

The Coleman family has already reached a settlement with Ripley Entertainment. The details of that settlement have not yet been disclosed. However, their suit against Ride the Ducks International – the manufacturer and designer of the duck boat – is still ongoing.

Coleman and her attorneys have made a slew of allegations against the company regarding the safety of these duck boats. They are also urging lawmakers to outlaw these sorts of boats which they refer to as death traps. With the release of this recent report, they may be one step closer to their wishes.

This tragedy, just like so many others, could have been prevented. If you lose a loved one to any sort of boating accident, make sure to contact our office right away.


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