Family that lost 9 wants duck boats banned

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An attorney says an Indiana family that lost nine members when a tourist boat sank on a Missouri lake wants to ensure that duck boats are banned so no one else suffers the same grief.

A federal lawsuit filed Sunday seeks $100 million in damages on behalf of two members of the Coleman family who died July 19 at Table Rock Lake when the Ride the Ducks boat sank, killing 17 people.

Robert Mongeluzzi, a Philadelphia-based attorney, said Monday the family's priorities are to find out what happened and to make sure "no one ever dies again inside a death trap duck boat."

Mongeluzzi's law firm won a $17 million settlement after two Hungarian students drowned in a duck boat ride in Philadelphia in 2010.

Ripley Entertainment, the owner of Ride the Ducks of Branson, says it remains "deeply saddened" that one of its boats sank in Missouri, killing 17 people.

A federal lawsuit was filed Sunday accusing Ripley and operators of the tourist ride of putting profits ahead of passenger safety and ignoring safety warnings when the boat was put on Table Rock Lake in Branson July 19. Seventeen of the 31 people on board died.

Ripley spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala said in a statement Monday that the company would not comment further because a National Transportation Safety Board investigation is continuing and no conclusions have been reached.

Continuing coverage here. 

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