Branson duck boat tragedy victim seeks action by Missouri State Attorney General

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Stretch Duck 7 being removed from Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, July 23, 2018

As had been widely expected (see earlier story), a federal court has dismissed a 47-count indictment against the captain and two managers charged in connection with the fatal sinking of the Stretch Duck 7 duck boat in Table Rock Lake, Mo., in July 2018 that killed 17 people.

Those indictments were brought under admiralty law. However, U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush concluded the charges should be dismissed because Table Rock Lake is not considered a navigable waterway under admiralty law.”

He also recommended the case should be prosecuted at the state level rather than in a federal court should it continue.

Now, Tia Coleman, whose husband and their three young children drowned in the incident, is urging the Missouri State Attorney General to pursue criminal charges so “those criminally responsible for 17 preventable deaths can finally be held accountable by a jury.”

Mrs. Coleman, represented by Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Andrew R. Duffy, and Jeffrey P. Goodman of the Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky law firm, and is seeking to see the kind of tourist duck boats that killed her family are banned from American waterways and roads.

“Tia Coleman still mourns the loss of her beloved husband, Glenn, and their babies; Arya Coleman, 1; Evan, 7, and Reece, 9,” said Mongeluzzi. “While we respect the federal Court’s reasoning, we urge the Missouri Attorney General to pursue state criminal charges for the outrageous conduct that took Tia Coleman’s beautiful family from her.”

Mr. Duffy said the factual record, based on the grand jury investigation that led to the charges, and the findings of the National Transportation Board (NTSB), “left no doubt that the criminal defendants attempted to beat an accurately forecasted, potentially ferocious storm instead of canceling the trip and giving refunds to the passengers.”

Mr. Goodman added, “State criminal charges would demonstrate that Missouri does not tolerate any decision that values money over human life.”

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