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Judge rules 1851 law doesn’t apply in Missouri boat case

(AP) A federal judge has ruled that an 1851 maritime law does not protect a company from making payments to families of people aboard a tourist boat that sank at Table Rock Lake, near Branson, killing 17 people.

Both Ripley Entertainment and Ride the Ducks International asked U.S. District Judge Doug Harpool to find the 1851 Shipowners Limitation of Liability Act in effect.

It means damages due to survivors or relatives of those who drowned to be capped at no more than the value of the sunken boat, which is zero dollars.

It was ruled that the law doesn’t apply, in part because Table Rock Lake is not considered a “navigable waterway” under federal law.


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