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Another lawsuit targets Ride the Ducks

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A man who claims he helped save some of the victims of the July 19 Ride the Ducks accident in Branson has sued two companies and the boat’s operator.

Branson resident Gregory Harris filed suit Aug. 15 accusing Ride the Ducks International LLC, Ripley Entertainment Inc. and Kenneth McKee, the operator of the vessel that capsized and sunk, of negligence and infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit was posted online by KY3.

The suit describes Harris, a former Showboat Branson Belle employee, jumping into the lake to attempt to rescue those involved in the accident. Some were saved, while others had already drowned, according to the suit. The Branson Belle was near the vessel when it sunk on Table Rock Lake, killing 17 people.

Harris damaged his right arm, lower back and knocked a crown out of his mouth, according to the suit. Further, the suit points to emotional damages that led to Harris leaving his job at Branson Belle.

“Plaintiff has been rendered nervous by the incident, has suffered anxiety of body and mind and has suffered emotional upset and loss of enjoyment of life, has suffered ongoing inability to sleep, horrific nightmares, distress, trauma and post traumatic stress,” the suit reads. “Greg replays the horrific events in both his waking and subconscious mind. He has survivor guilt and other ongoing distress.”

The suit seeks damages to punish the defendants and other like-minded corporations that engage in alleged “willful and wanton actions and conduct.”

“As a direct and proximate result of his injuries, he has and/or in the future will suffer loss of wages, earnings, salaries and profits,” the suit read, noting Harris “in the future will suffer an impaired and diminished capacity for work, labor and pleasure.

“By reason of the foregoing, Greg has been damaged and is entitled to fair and reasonable compensation.”

At least two other lawsuits have been filed against the Ride the Ducks Branson operators by families of victims.

Safety officials have pointed to the boat’s canopy — which officials previously recommended should be removed — and lack of buoyancy as a reason for the capsizing during severe weather.

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