The personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits stemming from a devastating 2015 crash in Seattle between a bus and an amphibious vehicle owned by the Ride the Ducks corporation has come to a conclusion. The jury in the case awarded a total of $123 million to the numerous victims of the crash, including to the families of the five that died in the accident.
2015 Accident Between Duck Boat and Bus Killed Five, Injured 60
The crash happened just before noon on September 24, 2015, on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, Washington. A Duck Boat was traveling northbound across the bridge when the driver heard a noise from the front left side of the vehicle. The front axle had broken, and the Duck Boat lurched into oncoming traffic.
The Duck Boat slammed into the side of a tour bus carrying students from North Seattle College. The unique height and shape of the Duck Boat penetrated the side of the bus, just behind the driver's seat, and sliced a hole in the vehicle 19 feet long.
Five of the passengers in the bus died in the crash, and another 34 were hurt. 37 people on the Duck Boat were injured in the collision, as well.
Three other vehicles were involved in the crash, but none of their occupants were hurt.
The federal National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted an extensive investigation of the crash and issued an 81-page report on it.
Lawsuit Goes to Trial
The crash spawned numerous lawsuits, particularly once it became apparent that the primary culprit for the crash was the broken axle on the Duck Boat. The NTSB's report found that Ride the Ducks International had improperly manufactured the axle, and that Ride the Ducks of Seattle had inadequately maintained it.
Unlike many personal injury cases where such an extensive government investigation was conducted, a settlement was not reached and the case, which centered on the issue of products liability, went to trial.
Verdict for Victims: $123 Million
After days of presenting evidence from the crash and showing the true extent of the injuries suffered by the victims, the jury returned with a verdict of $123 million. Each victim, as well as the families of the victims who were killed in the crash, will receive a share of the total award according to the extent of their injuries.
As we will explore in our next blog, the case presents an excellent example of how multiple defendants – in this case, the two companies Ride the Ducks International and Ride the Ducks of Seattle – can be made to pay the costs of a verdict for damages against them through the concept of joint and several liability.
Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian Represent Accident Victims in Maryland
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident in Maryland – whether it involved a Duck Boat or not – the personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian can help you recover the compensation that you need and deserve. Contact them online to schedule the free consultation that you need to understand your rights and plan your future.