TIP | Limitation of Liability Hearings | Claim of Mary A. Holverson (Alexander O. Holverson)

Limitation of Liability Hearings

CLAIM OF MARY A. HOLVERSON (ALEXANDER O. HOLVERSON)

 

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT,
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 MARY A. HOLVERSON, as executrix of Alexander O. Holverson, deceased, alleges as follows:

FOR A FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION:

FIRST: That she is a citizen of the United States of America, and of the State of New York, and resides in the Borough of Manhattan, in the City of New York, in said State.

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 said Alexander O. Holverson 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 sail steamship "Titanic" on the 10th day of April, 1912, at the City and 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 Few York; that while on said voyage the said steamship "Titanic", through no fault of this claimant's testator, 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 claimant's testator lost his life and all his personal effects.

FOURTH: Said collision and consequent damage were not caused by any fault, neglect or want of care on the part of this claimant's testator, 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, Limited, 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 his death, as aforesaid, the said Alexander O. Holverson, claimant's testator, was a resident of the City, County and State of New York. After his death and on May 27th, 1912, the last Will and Testament of the said Alexander O. Holverson, wherein and whereby this claimant was appointed sole executrix, was duly admitted to probate in the Surrogate's Court of the County of New York, in the State of New York, and on or about the 27th day of May, 1912, letters testamentary upon the estate of said Alexander O. Holverson, deceased, were duly issued and granted to the complainant by one of the Surrogates of the said County of New York, in which said County the said Alexander O. Holverson, deceased, resided at the time of his death, appointing her sole executrix of all the goods, chattels and credits which were of said deceased, and this claimant thereupon duly qualified as sole executrix and is now such sole executrix.

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 cause& 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. A copy of the said law, which is 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 male 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 his death claimant's decedent left him surviving this claimant, who was his wife; he also left surviving him his father, Amund Holverson, residing at Alexandria, Douglas County, Minnesota, and his mother, Rachel Holverson, who thereafter died on September 25th, 1912. The decedent left no children him surviving. The present action is brought for the benefit of the persons above mentioned.

EIGHTH: This claimant and the said deceased, prior to his death, lived happily together as man and wife, and the claimant was entirely dependent upon the deceased for her support, nurture and maintenance. At the time of his death, the said Alexander O. Holverson was forty-two years of age, and was earning and receiving an income of Six thousand ($6,000) Dollars per year, the greater part of which he had been accustomed to apply to the support of this claimant individually. By reason of the death of the said Alexander O. Holverson, the complainant individually was entirely deprived of the said income and of support by the said Alexander O. Holverson, and suffered pecuniary damages to the amount of One hundred thousand ($100,000) Dollars, by reason of the death of the said Alexander O. Holverson. In addition thereto, this claimant, as executrix, has sustained further special damages by reason of the wrongful act of the petitioner herein in negligently causing the death of complainant's testator, as aforesaid, in the reasonable expenses incurred in the purchase of a burial plot and the burial of the remains of claimant's testator, and in the purchase and installment of a suitable monument, the said special damages amounting in the aggregate to the sum of Nine hundred and twenty ($920) Dollars.

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 Schedule "B" hereof.

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 claimant's testator had with him on said voyage certain baggage and valuables of the value of Nine hundred and seventy-four ($974) Dollars, to wit, certain trunks, boxes, valises, clothing, jewelry and many 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 her claim against the above named petitioner in the sum of One hundred and one thousand eight hundred and ninety-four ($101,894) Dollars, 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 her 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 her 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.

Mary A. Holverson (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.

 

MARY A. HOLVERSON, being duly sworn, deposes and says that she has read the foregoing claim and knows the contents thereof, and that the same is true to the best of her knowledge, information and belief.

SWORN to before me this )
( Mary A. Holverson (sig.)
)
8th day of April, 1913.

 

William H. Hearthzell Jr., (sig.)
Notary Public #257
New York County