Settlement totaling $17 million reached in fatal duck boat crash
KDFW-TV Dallas reported on its website, “The families of the two Hungarian students killed in a 2010 Philadelphia duck boat crash will receive $15 million as part of a settlement deal reached Wednesday.” The two students from Hungary “drowned when a tugboat-guided barge slammed into the Ride the Ducks amphibious vessel during a sightseeing tour along the Delaware River.” The two families “will split $15 million, and a $2 million fund has been set up for 18 individuals who survived the incident.” The article notes that the pilot of the tugboat has already been sentenced to one year in prison following the NTSB’s report that he was using his laptop and cellphone just prior to the crash.
The AP reported, “The tug pushed the 250-foot-long barge into and over the 33-foot-long duck boat as it sat idle and anchored in an active shipping lane along its route, sending 37 people into the river about 150 feet from the Philadelphia shoreline.” The families said “the boat companies were rife with unclear safety policies and ineffective training and procedures that caused the crash.”
The Center for Justice and Democracy’s PopTort blog
commented that the tour boat company and the operator of the tugboat pushing the barge were “trying to limit their liability to the value of the boats,” about $1.8 million combined, under the mid-19th century Limitation of Liability Act, and “trying to place entire blame on the tugboat captain,” who was sentenced last November for prison after “pleading guilty to a federal criminal misconduct charge that is the maritime equivalent to involuntary manslaughter.”