TIP | Limitation of Liability Hearings | Claim of Mabelle Swift Moore (Clarence Moore)

Limitation of Liability Hearings

CLAIM OF MABELLE SWIFT MOORE (CLARENCE MOORE)


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 MABELLE SWIFT MOORE, as Administratrix of Clarence Moore, deceased, alleges as follows:

FOR A FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION:

FIRST: That she is a citizen of the United States of America, and resides in the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia.

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 Clarence Moore 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 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 New York; that while on said voyage, the said steamship "Titanic", through no fault of this claimant's intestate, 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 intestate 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 intestate, but were wholly caused by and through the wrongful acts, faults and 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 his death, as aforesaid, the said Clarence Moore, claimant's intestate, was a resident of the City of Washington, in the District of Columbia. After his death, Letters of Administration were duly issued by the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia to the claimant above named, appointing her sole Administratrix of all the goods, chattels and credits which were of said deceased, and the claimant thereupon duly qualified as sole administratrix and is now such sole administratrix.

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. 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 his death, claimant's intestate left him surviving this claimant, who was his wife, and five (5) minor children, but no father or mother. The present action is brought for the benefit of the survivors above mentioned.

EIGHTH: This claimant, and the said deceased, prior to his death, lived happily together as man and wife, and the claimant and their said five minor children, were entirely dependent upon the deceased for their support, nurture and maintenance. At the time of his death, the said Clarence Moore, was forty-seven (47) years of age, and was a member of the firm of W. B. Hibbs & Company, Brokers, in the City of Washington, from which business his profits and earnings were approximately Twenty-five thousand Dollars ($25,000) per annum. He was also engaged extensively in raising horses, cattle, etc., upon a farm owned by him in Montgomery County, Maryland, and in the purchase of land and real estate in the neighborhood of Leesburg, Virginia, and in other business enterprises from which he derived and earned a large income annually. All the said enterprises required his personal attention and were terminated or greatly reduced in earning value by his death. Said decedent had been accustomed to apply all this income to the support of this claimant and their minor children. By reason of the death of the said decedent, the complainant and their minor children, were entirely deprived of the said income and support and suffered pecuniary damages to the amount of Five hundred thousand Dollars ($500,000), by reason of the death of the said Clarence Moore.

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 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 intestate had with him on said voyage certain baggage and personal effects of the value of Ten Thousand, Five Hundred Dollars ($10,500.) to wit:-

1 set of pearl studs of the value of
$3,000.
Pearl cuff links
2,500.
A watch
1,000.
Sapphire buttons
500.
Pearl waistcoat buttons
1,500.
and various trunks, boxes, valises, clothing,jewelry, and other personal effects
2,000.

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 thereof has ever been delivered.

WHEREFORE, this claimant hereby makes and files her claim against the above named Petitioner in the sum of Five Hundred and Ten Thousand, Five Hundred Dollars, ($510,500), 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 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.

Mabelle Swift Moore (sig.)
Admx. of Clarence Moore
Claimant.

Shearman & Sterling,
Proctors for Claimant,
#55 Wall Street,
New York City.

 

 

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

 

John A. Garver being duly sworn, deposes and says that he is a member of the firm of' Shearman & Sterling, 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 claim is not verified by the claimant, is that claimant is a resident of the City of Washington, and is not now within this District.

 

SWORN to before me this )
) John A. Garver (sig.)
)
 
11th day of April, 1913.

 

 

J. R. Houston (sig.)
NOTARY PUBLIC,
NEW YORK COUNTY.