Philadelphia boat crash trial cut short by financial settlement

About a week ago, we published a post about the fatal accident involving the Ride the Ducks boat and a Philadelphia tugboat. The tugboat crashed into the stalled duck boat in July 2010, injuring several duck boat passengers and tragically killing two of them.

The victims who died were Hungarian tourists and students, ages 16 and 20. Their families not only were left to mourn the loss of the victims, but they also sought justice and to hold the parties accountable whose negligence caused the wrongful deaths of their loved ones. The wrongful death trial began early last week to soon end in a reported financial settlement.

The defendants in the case apparently didn’t want the trial to go on for a month or more. According to The Associated Press, they offered the plaintiffs a financial settlement of $17 million. Money was also offered to the victims who were injured in but survived the boating accident.

Sources do not report the defendants’ specific motivations behind offering the settlement. The possibilities include that the companies didn’t want an ongoing legal process to tarnish their images, they feared that a later outcome could cost them more money or they were convinced by the evidence presented so far that the families deserved the money offered to them.

Based on comments from the families, we do know that they are satisfied with the financial offer. As with most families who file wrongful death lawsuits, their legal action wasn’t about making money. They also wanted to honor the importance of their lost loved ones by shining a light on the negligence that cost them their lives, holding negligent parties accountable and encouraging improved safety practices on the water.

Source: The Associated Press, “$17M settlement in deadly Philly duck boat crash,” Joann Loviglio, May 9, 2012

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