Maritime Law Won't Limit Claims In Boat's Fatal Sinking

By Joyce Hanson (December 4, 2019, 10:03 PM EST) -- A Missouri federal judge ruled that the owner of an amphibious boat can't rely on a 19th-century maritime law to limit liability in a sinking that claimed the lives of 17 tourists, saying the waterway where the accident happened isn't navigable.

U.S. District Judge Doug Harpool ruled Nov. 27 that "duck boat" tour operators Ripley Entertainment Inc. and Branson Duck Vehicles LLC can't escape the claims of victims' families under the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851, a maritime law that limits personal injury payouts for vessel owners to the value of the vessel and its freight.

In finding that admiralty...

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