TIP | Limitation of Liability Hearings | Claim of Walter Harrington (Henry C. Harrington)

Limitation of Liability Hearings

CLAIM OF WALTER HARRINGTON (HENRY C. HARRINGTON)


United States District Court
For the Southern District of New York.

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IN THE MATTER
of
The Petition of the Oceanic Steam
Navigation Company, Limited, owner
of the Steamship TITANIC,
for limitation of liability.
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To THE HONORABLE THE JUDGES OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK AND TO ALEXANDER GILCHRIST, JR. ESQ., THE COMMISSIONER APPOINTED TO RECEIVE CLAIMS HEREIN:

The claim of WALTER HARRINGTON, as administrator of Henry Charles Harrington, deceased, alleges as follows:

FOR A FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION.

FIRST: That he is a British subject and a resident of London, England.

SECOND: That the above named Petitioner is a Corporation, created, organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and at all the times hereinafter mentioned was an English registered Company operating as a common carrier of goods and passengers for hire between various ports in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and other parts of the world, including a regular line of cargo and passenger steamships operating between Southampton, England, and New York. At all the times herein mentioned, said petitioner was the owner of the steamship "Titanic", which was a British vessel hailing from the port of Liverpool, England, and duly registered as such, pursuant to the laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

THIRD: That the deceased above named, lost his life upon petitioner's steamship "Titanic" at sea on or about the 15th day of April, 1912; that said deceased took passage on the said steamship "Titanic" on the 10th day of April, 1912, at the port of Southampton, England, under a contract for a valuable consideration made with this petitioner for the safe transportation of his person and personal effects from Southampton to New York; that while on said voyage, the said steamship, "Titanic" through no fault of the said deceased, but wholly by reason of the wrongful acts, faults and negligence of the above named petitioner, its officers, agents and servants, came into collision with an iceberg on the 14th day of April, 1912, by reason of which collision the said steamship "Titanic" was sunk and the said deceased lost his life and all his personal effects.

FOURTH: The said collision and consequent damage, were not caused by any fault, neglect, or want of care on the part of the said deceased, but were wholly caused by and through the wrongful acts, faults, negligence and want of care, on the part of the petitioner, the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Ltd., in failing to make the said vessel in all respects seaworthy and by and through the wrongful acts, faults and negligence of the petitioner and of its officers, agents and servants in the navigation of the vessel; said wrongful acts, faults and negligence and the resulting loss and destruction of lives and property being within the privity and knowledge of the petitioner.

FIFTH: At the time of the said deceased's death, the said deceased was a resident of the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia, in the United States of America, and was formerly a resident of Cadnam, Southampton, in the County of Hants, England. At the time of his death, said deceased was a British subject and after his death letters of administration were duly issued by His Majesty's High Court of Justice, at the Principal Probate Registry thereof in London, England, to the claimant herein, appointing him sole administrator of all the goods, chattels and credits which were of said deceased, and claimant thereupon duly qualified as sole administrator and is now such sole administrator.

SIXTH: At all the times hereinbefore mentioned it was and it now is the law of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland that an action at law is maintainable against any person or corporation who, by wrongful act, neglect or default, shall have caused the death of any person, provided the said act, neglect or default be such as would,.if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages therefor. By the said law of the said United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, every such action shall be for the benefit of the wife, husband, parent and child of the person whose death shall have been caused, and it shall be brought by and in the name of the executor or the administrator of the person deceased, or, if no such action is brought within six months after such death, by any of the persons for whose benefit the action exists. A copy of the said law, which is known as Lord Campbell's Act, enacted in 1846 (9 and 10 Victoria, Ch. 93, amended in 27 and 28 Victoria, Ch. 95) is annexed hereto, marked "Exhibit A", and made a part hereof. The said Act, including the said amendment thereto, was at all the times mentioned in this claim and still is in force in the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and extended and still extends in its operation to all deaths occurring on or caused by British vessels on the high seas.

SEVENTH: At the time of the said deceased's death, the said deceased left surviving the following persons:

Eliza Harrington, his mother, and
Walter Harrington, the claimant herein, his brother.

The said deceased left surviving no husband, wife, parent, child or descendant, except as above stated. The present action is brought for the benefit of the persons above named, all of whom were dependant upon the said deceased for their support, nurture and maintenance.

EIGHTH: At the time of the deceased's death, the deceased was 37 years of age, and was earning and receiving an income of $ 1250 per year, the greater part of which he had been accustomed to apply to the support of the persons above named. By reason of the death of the said deceased, the persons above named suffered pecuniary damage to the amount of $ 25,000.

NINTH: At all the times herein mentioned there were in force as part of what is known as the Merchant Shipping Act, the following statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, namely, 57 and 58 Victoria, chapter 60, sections 503-509 (inclusive), August 25, 1894, and amendments thereof, and 63 and 64 Victoria, C. 32, sections 1 and 2 (2), August 6, 1900 -- copies of which are hereunto annexed, marked "Exhibit B" and made a part hereof. The said acts were at all the times mentioned in this claim and still are in force in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the right of the owner of a British vessel to a limitation of liability is solely governable thereby in all cases of tort committed by an English vessel on the high seas when and in which no vessel or vessels of other nationality than British are involved. Claimant denies, upon information and belief that the petitioner is entitled to a limitation of liability herein under any law, but avers that as the "Titanic" was a British vessel and the tort herein complained of was committed on the high seas, with no vessel of any nationality other than British involved, the question of petitioner's right to a limitation of liability in this Court is governable by the law of Great Britain and Ireland herein referred to and set out in "Exhibit B" hereto attached.

FOR A SECOND SEPARATE CAUSE OF ACTION.

TENTH: Claimant repeats the allegations contained in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Articles hereof, and further alleges that the said deceased had with him on said voyage certain baggage and valuables of the value of $500 to wit: certain trunks, bags, valises, clothing, jewelry, money and other personal effects. Said baggage and property were totally destroyed and lost in the said collision by reason 'of the aforesaid negligence of this petitioner and no part of it has ever been delivered.

WHEREFORE, this claimant hereby makes and files this claim against the above named petitioner in the sum of $25,500, and prays that the Commissioner appointed to receive claims herein will report to the Court that the said sum is due to this claimant and should be allowed to him out of any fund deposited with the Registry of the Court in this proceeding; and in the event of any deficiency in said fund, claimant prays judgment in personam against the petitioner herein for the full amount of his claim, with interest, together with the costs and disbursements of this action, and claimant further prays for such other and further relief as to the Court shall seem just.

This claim is filed without waiving any right which your claimant may have to bring action against the Petitioner, Oceanic. Steam Navigation Company, Limited, in any Court of law and to demand a jury trial therein, but this claim is now filed solely to preserve your claimant's rights in all Courts until the extent of such rights and the nature of the jurisdiction of this Court to pass upon them may be ultimately determined.

Walter Harrington (sig.)
Claimant.

HARRINGTON, BIGHAM & ENGLAR,
Proctors for Claimant,
64 Wall Street,
New York City.

 

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STATE OF NEW YORK, )
( ss
)
COUNTY OF NEW YORK.

Howard S. Harrington (sig.) duly sworn, deposes and says that he is a member of the firm of Harrington, Bigham & Englar, Proctors for the claimant herein; that he has read the foregoing claim and knows the contents thereof, and that the same is true to the best of his knowledge, information and belief.

That the reason this verification is made by deponent and not by claimant, is that claimant is not now within this District.

SWORN to before me this )
) Howard S. Harrington (sig.)
)
11th day of April, 1913.

Ronald Porter (sig.)
NOTARY PUBLIC,
NEW YORK COUNTY.