All eyes were on Southwest Missouri this summer when 17 people died while riding the ducks on Table Rock Lake. Predictably, families of those killed began filing lawsuits against Ride the Ducks and its owner, Ripley Entertainment.
Now, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri is attempting to intervene in the civil cases.
Attorney Woody explained that the evidence and witnesses in the civil lawsuits are identical to the criminal investigation and lawsuits. The Government does not want witness statements or other evidence to get into the hands of the possible defendants, which would help them prepare and coordinate defenses in advance of any criminal indictment. Halting the civil cases will prevent both sides of the civil lawsuits from talking to those witnesses or accessing any of the evidence while the Government investigates and decides its next steps. Woody explained that, if the cases are stayed by the Court to allow the Government time to investigate, then he would expect the defense to try to have the cases dismissed for failure to proceed in a timely manner.
Stay tuned to find out whether the Government decides to take further action against Ride the Ducks or its employees.
To watch the full story and interview, click here.