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Duck Boat Owners Move to Shed Liability for Deadly Sinking

Oct. 16, 2018, 8:11 PM

Ripley Entertainment Inc. argues in a newly filed suit that it owes, at most, a few thousand dollars as the owner of a duck boat that sank and drowned 17 passengers in July.

The Oct. 15 complaint by Ripley and affiliate Branson Duck Vehicles LLC invokes 167-year-old admiralty law that limits a ship owner’s liability to the value of a salvaged vessel and its freight.

The companies are unlikely to succeed in light of the high-profile nature of the tragedy and pending claims by multiple grief-stricken families, maritime attorneys who spoke to Bloomberg Law said.

But the new complaint could ...