A 911 call came in at 7:09 p.m. reporting that the duck boat sank and people were in the water. Other family members are expected to join the suit, Mongeluzzi said.
More than 50 members of the extended Rose-Coleman family filled a conference room Tuesday to discuss their loss and to demand that duck boats be banned so no family ever has to go through the same tragedy as they have.
The estates of Belinda and Angela Coleman were listed as plaintiffs in a court filing Tuesday.
The passengers might have survived if the Branson operators had not ignored a 2002 National Transportation Safety Board recommendation that all duck boat canopies should be removed, he said. It also cites prior incidents involving duck boats and documents suggesting that Ride the Ducks officials did not heed safety recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Michael Thomas/Getty Images An evening candlelight prayer vigil in Branson, Missouri, after 17 people died aboard a duck boat on July 19.
The Coast Guard said it has already conducted numerous interviews with Ride the Duck employees, survivors, eyewitnesses and emergency responders.
But the nephews and nieces, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters have been gathering lately to mourn and remember the nine members of a close-knit clan who perished together July 19 in a deadly duck boat accident on a lake near Branson, Missouri.
The Indiana family's suits allege that the companies ignored warnings from the National Transportation Safety Board in 2000 that the vehicles, which are created to operate on land and water, should be upgraded to ensure they remain upright and floating in bad weather.
Attorneys said at a news conference on Monday that they would seek $100 million in the federal case, though Mongeluzzi said no amount was enough.
Ripley Entertainment Inc., Ride the Ducks International, Ride the Ducks of Branson, the Herschend Family Entertainment Corp., and Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing are named in the federal suit.
In 2010, a duck boat stalled in a shipping channel and was struck by a tugboat towing a barge.
According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit doesn't mince words, calling the tragedy "predictable" and adding that the deaths were the result of "decades of unacceptable, greed-driven, and willful ignorance of safety by the Duck Boat industry". Paul told the company that the duck boats' engines and the pumps that remove water from their hulls might fail in bad weather, the suit says.
What does the first lawsuit say?
"We remain deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred in Branson and we are supportive of the affected families", Smagala said in a statement. Williams is one of the 17 people who died in the incident.
"On numerous occasions before July 19, 2018, Defendants were warned that the canopies used on their Duck Boats were unsafe and created death traps for passengers in the event of emergency", the suit says. One boat made it, but the other sank.
McKee, who operated the boat on the water, has acknowledged he was aware of the weather warnings before the trip, according to the NTSB.
On Friday, the NTSB released an initial report following a review of video recordings, and within four minutes of being on the water, whitecaps rapidly appeared on the water and wind speeds increased around 7 p.m.