Austin Porter, while riding his motorcycle, was run over and dragged by a Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle loaded with tourists. The incident occurred in downtown Seattle. Porter and his wife filed a civil suit last month against Ride the Ducks of Seattle seeking damages. As you may know, the Ride the Ducks vehicles are used in Seattle primarily for tourists.
The safety of the Seattle fleet of Ducks was questioned during a news conference. It was pointed out that the vehicles’ huge hulls and faulty sightlines make them a hazard to other vehicles. It’s significant that Duck drivers are expected to serve as “tour guide and entertainer” from behind the wheel, creating even more of a danger given the size and maneuverability of the half-bus-half-boat vehicles.
The October 10th incident — which broke the Plaintiff’s pelvis and sacrum and tore the ligaments in his left knee — is the third incident since December 2010 involving a Ducks vehicle rear-ending other vehicles that had been stopped at red lights. A surveillance camera located outside a nearby Walgreen’s pharmacy captured footage of the crash involving the Plaintiff. The crash remains under investigation by the Seattle Police Department. On December 31, 2010, and again last June 11, two different Duck drivers rear-ended passenger vehicles in Seattle. No one was injured, but both Duck drivers told officers they couldn’t see the cars then because of the height of the Duck vehicles.
The Plaintiff in this case, a 28-year-old industrial designer, had started a new job the week before he was hit. He was running errands on his lunch break, riding his 2010 Triumph Bonneville T100, when he stopped for a red light. He heard the loud music and the Duck’s engine and then he was hit from the rear. In addition to his physical injuries, the Plaintiff suffers from post-traumatic stress as a result of the collision. He has incurred over $500,000 in medical bills. The Plaintiff spent a week at Harborview Medical Center, followed by two months in a skilled nursing home. His knee and pelvis are now held together with screws and bolts. The Plaintiff attends physical-therapy sessions twice a week. He walks with a limp and uses cane.
According to Ducks of Seattle’s website, Duck drivers are certified by the Coast Guard and its fleet of amphibious vehicles are inspected annually. The Duck name is derived from the six-wheeled vehicle’s official designation of DUKW for the vehicles used as landing craft by the U.S. military during World War II. They were designed to deliver cargo from ships at sea directly to the shore. The Plaintiff’s lawyer, Stephen Bulzomi, who is with the Seattle firm of Messina Bulzomi Christensen, announced the filing of the suit at a news conference.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.