KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Two wrongful death lawsuits have now been filed after 17 people drowned on a sinking duck boat in Branson. The first has been filed by a Philadelphia-based law firm representing two of the boat’s victims, 76-year-old Ervin Coleman and 2-year-old Maxwell Ly. Both were members of a family that lost nine that day. Their suit is demanding $100 million.
“The very hazard that killed these people, they were warned about, told about and did nothing about,” argues Coleman family attorney Robert Mongeluzzi.
Mongeluzzi says the Coleman family wants, “to make sure nobody dies again inside a death trap duck boat.”
The second has been filed on behalf of married couple Janice and William Bright. Their three daughters are suing the duck boat company for what has so far only been noted as $25,000. The lead attorney for that case tells KOLR10 they will likely request $100,000 more than that later in the case.
But it’s the first suit, the one on behalf of the Coleman family, that is looking for more than money.
Instead, the Coleman family’s attorneys are looking to shut down the operation of an industry they say knowingly produced boats that would trap it’s passengers, even if they had a lifejacket on.
“With this lawsuit, we hope we will drive the death trap duck boats out of business,” Mongeluzzi says. “Because of the canopies you are dead if you do, you are dead if you don’t. You drowned if you do. You drowned if you don’t.”