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Ethan Allen inspection suit goes forward

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(AP) _ A New York judge has refused to dismiss negligence claims against state inspectors who certified the capacity limit for a Lake George tour boat before it capsized in 2005, killing 20 of the 48 on board.

State Court of Claims Judge James Ferreira says there are issues to determine at trial, including whether the inspectors are immune from claims.

Ferreira says testimony showed inspectors simply extended the Ethan Allen's the capacity limit of 48 year to year, though they had authority to change it and order stability tests after the 40-foot boat was modified.

He's also refusing to immediately grant the claims against the state.

The boat tipped over in clear, sunny weather, sending screaming tourists into the Adirondack lake. Most of them were senior citizens from the Midwest on a fall foliage tour.

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