The Next Duck Boat Tragedy: How Missouri Legislators Are Trying to Encourage Deadly Corporate Conduct

In July 2018, seventeen people were killed – and many more injured – near Branson, Missouri when two Duck Boats sank in Table Rock Lake near Branson, MO during a thunderstorm. 

The company that operates the Ride the Ducks attraction – Ripley Entertainment – had been ignoring safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board for nearly 16 years leaving thousands of families at risk with every ride.  

And now, Missouri lawmakers want to limit lawsuits against defective and unsafe products – preventing everyday Missourians from holding corporations accountable. 

HB 1596 would make changes to the statute of repose law eliminating any accountability for products that are over 15 years old. The Duck Boats, manufactured in WW2, were well past the 15-year time frame. This means the families affected by the tragedy at Table Rock Lake in 2018 would not be able to hold accountable the corporations responsible for the deaths of their loved ones.

But even worse – this bill leaves no incentive for companies to keep customers safe.

“Ripley Entertainment, which ran the Branson duck boat operation, said through a spokesperson that its duck boat fleet is in storage and a decision has not yet been made about whether or not the vessels will be used on the lake in the future.”

—Springfield News Leader- 9/16/19

Tell the Missouri Legislature to protect families, not large corporations.