Mother alleges duck boat's negligence caused child's injuries

By Philip Gonzales | Aug 16, 2018

ORLANDO — A mother is suing duck boat operators, alleging negligence caused serious injuries to her child.

Amanda Keller, as next friend of G.C., a minor, filed a complaint July 30 in Orange County Circuit Court against Ripley Entertainment Inc., alleging the duck boat operator failed to provide for the safety of the its passengers.

According to the complaint, on July 19, 17 people were killed and several others, including G.C., were injured when the defendant's duck boat sank in a Missouri lake. The suit says G.C. sustained severe injuries that resulted in physical pain and suffering, disability, discomfort, mental anguish, distress and other medical problems. 

"It was plainly unseaworthy and was recklessly taken out on the water despite knowing about impending rough weather that made the voyage patently unsafe," the suit claims. "Ripley Entertainment was further aware through prior inspections that the duck boat was not fit for voyages in such weather. These problems were simply ignored, resulting in tragedy."

The plaintiff alleges Ripley Entertainment, based in Orlando, failed to properly supervise their crew, failed to provide adequate safety equipment and failed to properly monitor the weather.

Keller seeks trial by jury, damages of more than $15,000, exclusive of interest, court costs and attorney fees. She is represented by attorneys Michael P. Hamaway and Jason Ari Smith of Mombach, Boyle, Hardin & Simmons PA in Fort Lauderdale.

At least two other lawsuits have been filed on behalf of persons who died as a result of the mishap.

Orange County Circuit Court case number 18CA008224

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