A federal judge has determined that a maritime law written in 1851 does not apply in the case of the duck boat accident that claimed 17 lives on Table Rock Lake. The operators of the boat tours tried to invoke the Shipowners Limitation of Liability Act. Maritime law expert Raul Chacon, Jr. said at the time that the law had the ability to end any claims of compensation for the victims and their families.
The law limits the liability of the ship owners to the value of their vessel, which in this case would have been zero dollars. The federal judge determined that the law does not apply, in part because Table Rock Lake is not considered a navigable waterway under federal guidelines.