The largest share of the partial settlement, $7 million, will go to the family of an 18-year-old Indonesian student who was killed in the 2015 crash.
A Seattle lawyer representing several victims of the fatal 2015 Ride the Ducks crash on the Aurora Bridge says four of the plaintiffs have settled their cases for a total $8.25 million in the middle of a civil trial ongoing in King County Superior Court.
Attorney Lara Herrmann said most of that sum — $7 million — will go to the family of 18-year-old Privando Putradanto, an Indonesian student who was killed in the accident. The other settlements included 600,000 to Jae Won Jang, a college student who suffered permanent injuries to his back, neck and shoulder; a $375,000 payment to Florencia Irena, another Indonesian student, who suffered a fractured collarbone; and a payment of $275,000 to Na Ra Yoon, a Korean student who suffered broken bones in both her hands.
Herrmann said all of the survivors also suffer from post-traumatic stress issues.
She stressed that the settlement involves Ride the Ducks Seattle and Ride The Ducks International only, and that the victims’ claims against the city of Seattle and the state of Washington remain active.
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“We are still engaged in negotiations with representatives of the city and state,” Herrmann said.
The four cases are part of a lawsuit that includes claims from a total of 42 people who were killed or hurt that day. A monthslong trial began in October.
Five people were killed and dozens injured on Sept. 15, 2015, when one of the Ride the Ducks boats — an amphibious truck-boat dating to World War II — careened into oncoming traffic on the Aurora Bridge, slamming into a tour bus full of foreign students. An investigation showed an axle on the Duck boat had broken.
The lawsuit alleges the accident stemmed from poor design, manufacture and maintenance of the Duck vehicles.
Herrmann said the settlement represented “fair compensation” to the victims and, as importantly, showed their families and countrymen from Indonesia and South Korea that justice can be sought and achieved for anyone in the American judicial system.
“We really felt that these settlements achieved what we were asking for,” she said.
The trial, which is expected to last several more months, is ongoing in superior court. Jurors took a field trip earlier this week to a warehouse to view the wrecked vehicles.