Owner of Branson, Missouri Death-trap Duck Boat Insults Dead, Survivors, Claiming Lives Lost Are Worthless

Ripley’s Entertainment, Inc., owner-operator of the Branson, Missouri duck boat that outrageously and recklessly killed 17 victims and injured 14 others, today issued an insulting and insensitive statement about its callous and calculated lawsuit—citing an 1851 Federal limitation of liability maritime law—demanding that it pay not a penny of damages for the July 19, 2018 duck boat disaster.

Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Esq. of Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, the Philadelphia law firm that represents many of the victims stated:

Ripley’s claim that the lives of the family members they killed with their outrageous and criminal conduct, are worthless, is yet another insult to these grieving family members from the Ripley’s organization. Let us be clear—there have been no offers of settlement—none. Ripley’s claims of supporting these families are false. The company sent their family members into the teeth of a deadly storm in death-trap duck boats and killed them.

Tia Coleman, whose husband, Glenn, and children, Evan, Reece and Arya drowned while with her on the duck boat stated “Ripley’s legal claim that my husband and children are worthless is incredibly hurtful and insensitive. Anyone who cares about people or has any human decency should boycott Ripley and their attractions.”

Andrew R. Duffy, of SMB, added”

With this recent filing, Ripley’s sent a message, loud and clear, that it will do whatever it can to avoid being held accountable for its criminal decisions that killed 17 people.  Ripley’s represents to the public that it is doing whatever it can for the victims of this tragedy that has Ripley’s facing two criminal investigations, yet Ripley’s filed this action to deprive the victims and the survivors of their day in court and to completely terminate their access to justice.  Is there anything more outrageous than that?

Jeffrey P. Goodman, also of SMB added:

The federal law Ripley’s invokes is totally archaic, no more relevant in the 21st century than its grossly defective World War II-era duck boats that were a fatal accident waiting to happen on land and in the water. Instead of answering for their corporate failure to prevent a tragedy, Ripley’s is trying to skirt the truth and avoid the real issues in these wrongful death cases.

Mr. Mongeluzzi also said:

Ripley’s inhuman legal ploy will sink as fast as their death trap duck boat did. We will legally and factually demolish this frivolous claim.

The SMB legal team includes Gregory Aleshire, Esq., of Missouri-based Aleshire, Robb & Rapp.

Robert J. Mongeluzzi / rmongeluzzi@smbb.com/ 215.850.6571
Jeffrey P. Goodman / jpgoodman@smbb.com/ 215.840.6450
Andrew R. Duffy /arduffy@smbb.com
Steph Rosenfeld / steph@idadvisors.com/215.514.101

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