Jury Awards $123M To Victims Of Multi-Fatality Duck Boat Crash

Posted by David Siegel on Feb 7, 2019 7:17:18 PM

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CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Karen S. Koehler delivering her closing statement. Click here to see vide from the trial

Seattle, WA - A Washington State court jury on Thursday found a company that provides tours in amphibious “duck boat” vehicles and their local Seattle affiliate liable for $123 million in damages stemming from a 2015 collision with an oncoming bus that left five people dead and nearly 60 injured.

The jury assigned 67-70 percent responsibility for the accident to Ride the Ducks International and 30-33 percent responsibility to Ride the Ducks Seattle, while also clearing the city of Seattle and the state of Washington of all liability following a sprawling trial that began in early October of last year. Jury deliberations began on January 28.

The full trial was recorded exclusively gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network, and the full proceedings, which featured 11 attorneys and almost 90 witnesses, including more than two dozen experts, are available “on demand” to subscribers as part of CVN’s online video archive. 

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Attorney Karen S. Koehler of the Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore Law Firm, who represented the nearly 40 plaintiffs in the case, asked jurors to award $300 million in damages. 

The collision occurred when a duck boat, a repurposed World War II-era vehicles that can drive on roads and also function as a boat, crossed the center median and slammed into an oncoming tour bus. Koehler argued the duck boat swerved because of a broken axle that Ride the Ducks failed to replace. She also claimed the city and state were responsible for the crash due to the lack of a road divider.

Ride The Ducks was represented by attorneys from Rawle & Henderson LLP, Patterson Buchanan Fobes & Leitch, Littler Mendelson PC and Fallon McKinley & Wakefield PLLC.

The State of Washington and City of Seattle were represented by the state attorney general’s office and office of the city attorney.

The trial took place before Judge Catherine Shaffer.

The case is captioned Dinh, et al. v. Ride the Ducks International, et al., case number 15-2-28905-F SEA in King County Superior Court.

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Topics: Transportation