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Families of Boating Accident Victims Settle Wrongful Death Suit $17 Million

ht_duck_boat_sequence_ll_110714_wg.jpg While visiting Philadelphia with their church group two years ago, two Hungarian students decided to take a sightseeing tour of the city down the Delaware River and boarded the Ride the Ducks duck boat. As the 33-foot-long boat made its way down the river, it eventually anchored itself in an active shipping lane along its route and sat idle. As the boat sat idle 150 yards from shore, a tugboat pushed a 250-foot-long barge into and over the boat, sending almost forty people into the water. The two Hungarians lost their lives trying to help the others.

Following their children’s deaths, the parents of the Hungarian students filed a wrongful death lawsuit against K-Sea Transportation, the operator of the tugboat that was guiding the barge, and against Ride the Ducks, the tour company. The families argued that both companies had unclear safety procedures and poor training and procedures that led to the crash. Both parties blamed each other for the crash. When the crash occurred, the driver of the tugboat was on his cell phone and in a part of the boat where he was unable to see the river. Because he was on his cell phone, the tugboat driver had turned down the marine radio, leaving him unable to hear the mayday calls before the barge crashed into the boat.

After the families filed suit, both K Sea and Ride the Ducks attempted to limit their liability to the value of the vessels involved in the crash: $150,000 for the duck boat and $1.65 million for the tugboat. However, after just two days of trial testimony, the families reached a settlement with the companies for $17 million. The families of the two students who died in the crash will split $15 million and the remaining $2 million will be split among the eighteen remaining survivors of the crash.

$17M settlement in deadly Philly duck boat crash, www.miamiherald.com May 9, 2012.


While attempting to have a little fun and learn a little bit of history, two innocent students died as a result of someone else’s negligence. No one foresaw this accident, but two people lost their lives nonetheless. Similar to Philadelphia, Miami offers many boat tours of its beautiful coast and accidents similar to the duck boat crash can happen here in South Florida. The dedicated wrongful death lawyers at the Friedland Law Group can help you recover the compensation you deserve if you have lost a loved one in a boating accident. The Miami Beach personal injury lawyers at the Friedland Group are dedicated to helping motor vehicle accident victims recover compensation for injuries they have sustained as a result of another’s negligent actions. Call (305) 661-2008 for your free consultation today and let the Friedland Law Group help you recover the compensation you deserve!

The Miami boating accident attorneys at the Friedland Law Group handle all types of motor vehicle accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland Law Group handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call today and let our family take care of your family!