Rescuer of duck boat passengers files lawsuit, claiming injuries

A Missouri man who rescued several people from a capsized duck boat last month, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the company and captain of the vessel, claiming he was injured in the rescue attempt and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.

On July 19, Gregory Harris was working on the Showboat Branson Belle when he witnessed the duck boat take on too much water and sink, according to the lawsuit, Kansas City’s FOX 4 reported.

Harris jumped in the water and managed to help several people to shore, but others, including a young boy, died before he reached them, the lawsuit said. In all, 17 people perished, including nine members of an Indiana family.

"Plaintiff (Harris) has been rendered nervous by the incident. (He) has suffered anxiety of body and mind and has suffered emotional upset and loss of enjoyment of life, has suffered on going inability to sleep, horrific nightmares, distress, trauma, and post traumatic stress."

- Lawsuit filed on behalf of Gregory Harris

“Plaintiff (Harris) has been rendered nervous by the incident,” the lawsuit said. “(He) has suffered anxiety of body and mind and has suffered emotional upset and loss of enjoyment of life, has suffered on going inability to sleep, horrific nightmares, distress, trauma, and post traumatic stress.”

Harris suffered injuries to his right arm, lower back, and lost a crown tooth, FOX 4 reported, citing Harris’ attorney, who said his client has since quit his job at the Branson Belle.

The lawsuit, filed in Taney County, is against Ripley Entertainment, Ride the Ducks International and Kenneth Scott McKee, captain of the sunken vessel, the Kansas City Star reported.

Two other lawsuits have been filed on behalf of victims, alleging the owners and operators of the Ride the Ducks boat put profits over people’s safety when they decided to put the boat on a lake despite severe weather warnings and design problems.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.