KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The owners and operators of a tourist boat that sank this month in Missouri, killing 17 people, put profits over people’s safety when they decided to put the Ride the Ducks boat on a lake despite design problems and warnings of severe weather, a lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit filed Sunday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City seeks $100 million in damages on behalf of two of nine members of an Indiana family who died when the tourist boat sank July 19 at Table Rock Lake near Branson. A second lawsuit was filed Monday in state court on behalf of three daughters of William and Michelle Bright, of Higginsville, Missouri, who died in the accident. The wrongful-death lawsuit seeks more than $125,000 in damages.
Separately, the Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office confirmed Monday that it has opened a criminal investigation under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act duck boat incident.
“We are working with investigators to determine the facts and whether any criminal charges are appropriate,” said Mary Compton, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.