July 14, 2011
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A New York court has refused to dismiss negligence claims against state inspectors who annually certified the capacity limit for a Lake George tour boat before it capsized in 2005, killing 20 of the 48 on board.
The Appellate Division panel concludes the inspectors are not immune from claims since they failed to exercise their discretion.
The midlevel court says Thursday that testimony showed they simply carried over the capacity limit of 48 each year for the Ethan Allen, though they had authority to change it and order stability tests after the 40-foot boat was modified.
The boat tipped over in clear, sunny weather, sending screaming tourists into the Adirondack lake.
Plaintiffs alleging state negligence now say they expect a Court of Claims trial in October.
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