• Ride the Ducks hearing key in survivors' lawsuits


    SEATTLE - A major hearing will be held in Seattle Friday over the deadly Ride the Ducks crash in 2015.

    PHOTOS: Ride the Ducks vehicle, bus crash 

    Five people were killed and dozens of others injured when the tourist vehicle collided with a bus on the Aurora Bridge.

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    Friday is the first substantial legal hearing in a lawsuit from a survivor against Ride the Ducks International, the manufacturer of the amphibious vehicles.

    The filing is important because it will determine whether the plaintiff in this case and others can collect punitive damages from Ride the Ducks.

    The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause of the catastrophic crash was mechanical failure due to improper manufacturing and inadequate maintenance of one of the vehicle's axles.

    NTSB releases new photos from fatal Ride The Ducks crash

    It caused the driver to lose control and drive into the path of an oncoming bus on the Aurora Bridge that was carrying international students.

    The plaintiff's lawyer is arguing that a law in Missouri, where the Ride the Ducks vehicles were built, should be applied in Washington to collect damages.

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    In the court documents, the plaintiff's lawyer refers to evidence that the manufacturers were not engineers, but were self-taught owners and mechanics, who made an unsafe fix to the left axle on several Ride the Ducks vehicles.

    That issue will be argued in court Friday.

    This week, in another lawsuit, Ride the Ducks Seattle claimed the manufacturers should have disclosed the problem with the vehicle's axles when they first learned about them in 2003.

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