In September 2015, my two clients from Wisconsin arrived in Seattle expecting to have a fun vacation with their friends. Instead, they experienced terror and tragedy when the Ride the Ducks vehicle they had boarded lost control on the Aurora Bridge and crashed into a charter bus.
My clients suffered permanent, life altering injuries, yet despite our best efforts, the Duck companies and their insurers refused to make a fair settlement offer.
Eventually we joined forces with a team of elite trial lawyers representing more than 40 clients. Together we filed a lawsuit. As we prepared for trial, we continued to explore the possibility of settlement, but it was clear that the Duck insurance companies had no interest in accepting responsibility for the profound suffering they had caused.
Our group, led by skilled trial attorney Karen Koehler, went to trial in October, 2018. The trial lasted more than three months. My clients, and those of all the other attorneys in our group, were forced to relive those horrible moments as they explained what happened and how it affected them to the jury.
Ultimately our clients were vindicated when a King County jury awarded our group $123 million, including $10.4 million allocated to my clients. Finally, my clients had a sense of relief and justice.
But their ordeal wasn’t over. Shortly after the jury entered its verdict, the Ride the Ducks companies filed an appeal, attempting to overturn the decision of the jury. My brave clients, and all the clients in our group stood firm, and their courage and patience has finally paid off.
Today, April 29, 2019, the Ride the Ducks companies and their insurers agreed to drop their appeal and settle with all of the members of our group and others whose claims have not yet been resolved. Today the justice that the jury demanded was fulfilled.
It has been my great pleasure to represent these clients, and it has also been a great privilege to work on a team with some of the best trial lawyers in the country. These relationships enable each of us to more effectively represent our clients, and to pursue justice against powerful corporations and insurance companies.
It is my sincere hope that these dangerous, antiquated vehicles will be removed from our public roads forever.