Wrongful death case to begin over duck boat crash

May 7, 2012 4:46:16 AM PDT
A federal wrongful death trial is set to begin over the 2010 deaths of two Hungarian students killed when a tugboat-guided barge slammed into their sightseeing boat on Philadelphia's Delaware River.

A judge on Monday will consider a request by tug operator K-Sea Transportation and duck boat operator Ride the Ducks to limit their liability in the case to about $1.8 million -- the combined value of the two vessels.

Twenty-year-old Szabolcs Prem and 16-year-old Dora Schwendtner died when the 250-foot barge ran over the 33-foot duck boat. Thirty-five others were rescued.

The tug boat's pilot was sentenced in November to a year in prison after pleading guilty to the maritime equivalent of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors said he was on his cellphone amid a family emergency.

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