TIP | Limitation of Liability Hearings | Claim of Wolcott G. Lane, Alfred E. Marlin, and Lorillard Spencer (William A. Spencer)

Limitation of Liability Hearings

CLAIM OF WOLCOTT G. LANE, ALFRED E. MARLIN and LORILLARD SPENCER (WILLIAM A. SPENCER)


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

......................x
IN THE MATTER
of
The Petition of the Oceanic Steam Navigation
Company, Limited, for Limitation :
of its liability as owner of the
Steamship
"TITANIC".
......................x

The claim of WOLCOTT G. LANE, ALFRED E. MARLIN and LORILLARD SPENCER, as Executors under the Last Will and Testament of WILLIAM AUGUSTUS SPENCER, alleges as follows:

FIRST: That the above named claimants were on or about the 9th day of October, 1912, duly appointed, and now are the Executors under the Last Will and Testament of William Augustus Spencer, who died on or about the 14th day of April, 1912, and who was, at the time of his death, a resident of the State of New York.

SECOND: The said William Augustus Spencer left him surviving his wife, Marie Eugenie Spencer, and upon information and belief, left no children, step-children, grandchildren, grandfather, grandmother, parents, step-father or step-mother, except as above stated.

Claimants further allege upon information and belief :

THIRD. That the above named petitioner is and at all times herein mentioned was a corporation organized and existing under the Laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and an English registered company, and a common carrier, and the owner of the steamship "TITANIC". At the times hereinafter mentioned, the said steamship "TITANIC" was a British sea-going ship, and upon information and belief, had been duly registered pursuant to the Laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and hailed from the port of Liverpool in said Kingdom and was one of a line of cargo and passenger steamships operated by petitioner between Southampton and New York.

FOURTH: That on or about April 10th, 1912, the said William Augustus Spencer took passage at Southampton, England, on the said steamship "TITANIC", under a contract previously made between the said William Augustus Spencer and the petitioner herein, for a valuable consideration paid to petitioner, by the terms of which contract petitioner agreed safely to transport the said William Augustus Spencer as a passenger, together with his luggage and personal effects from Southampton to New York.

FIFTH: That while on said voyage and on the high seas in or near Latitude 41 d. 46 m. N. Longitude 50 d. 14 m. W. and on or about April 14th, 1912, the said steamship "TITANIC" collided with a large iceberg and shortly afterward sank, causing the death of the said William Augustus Spencer, and a large number of other persons, and the loss of the cargo, baggage and personal property contained in said vessel. That such loss of the steamship "TITANIC" and the lives and property of persons on board thereof were caused by the wrongful acts, neglect, fault and negligence of petitioner, Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, and of Petitioner's agents and servants in the navigation of said vessel and in failing to make the said vessel seaworthy and properly manned, equipped and supplied, and in failing to provide sufficient life boats and in failing to man such life boats as were provided with sufficient and properly drilled crews, and in failing property to utilize said life boats and in failing, after the said collision, to take proper measures for the rescue of the said William Augustus Spencer and other persons on board the "TITANIC", and otherwise, and such loss and destruction of lives and property was with the privity, fault and knowledge of the petitioner, and occurred without fault on the part of the said William Augustus Spencer.

SIXTH: That at all times herein mentioned there were in force and effect the English Statute, known as Lord Campbell's Act, Vict. 9 and 10, Chapter 93, and amendments thereof, which provide that when the death of a person is caused by wrongful act, neglect or default which, if death had not ensured, would entitle the party injured to main­tain an action and recover damages in respect thereof, the person who would have been liable if death had not ensued shall be liable in an action by the executor or administrator of the deceased, for the benefit of the wife, husband, parent, and child, grand-parent, grandchild, step-father or step-mother, step-son and step-daughter, of the person whose death shall have been so caused. Such Statute further provides that such action is to be commenced within twelve calendar months after the death of the deceased and shall be brought in the name of the executor or administrator of the deceased or, if none has been appointed, or if appointed, fails to act, then it may be brought by and in the name of any or all of the persons for whose benefit it would have been, if brought in the name of the executor or administrator, and such statute provides that in every such action the Jury may give such damages as they may think proportionate to the injury resulting from such death to the parties respectively for whom and for whose benefit such action shall be brought. That by reason of the facts set forth in the preceding paragraphs hereof, if death had not ensued from the aforesaid wrongful acts, neglect and default of the petitioner and its agents and servants, but if the said William Augustus Spencer had merely suffered personal injury therefrom, he would have been entitled, under the laws of England as well as the State of New York to maintain an action and recover damages in respect to such injury.

SEVENTH: That by reason of the premises, claimants have been damaged in the sum of Seventy-five Thousand Dollars, and have a claim and cause of action against the petitioner for the recovery of same, for the benefit of the said Marie Eugenie Spencer, widow of the said William Augustus Spencer. No credits have been given and no payments have been made on account of the claim above set forth.

FOR A SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION, THESE CLAIMANTS allege, upon information and belief, as follows:

EIGHTH: They repeat as if herein fully set forth, paragraphs "THIRD, "FOURTH" and "FIFTH".

NINTH: That included in the personal property lost as aforesaid upon the sinking of the "TITANIC" were the luggage and personal effects of the said William Augustus Spencer, which petitioner had contracted as aforesaid safely to convey from Southampton to New York and consisting of trunks, bags, clothing and articles of clothing and other personal effects which were the property of the said William Augustus Spencer and were of the value of $2,670.00. [attached - Schedule "A"] That by reason of the premises claimants have a claim against the petitioner in the sum of $2,670., in addition to the claim of $75,000.00 for loss of life above set forth.

WHEREFORE claimants pray that the commissioner appointed to receive claims herein will report to the Court that the sum of $77,670.00 with interest from April 14th, 1912, is due to these claimants together with the costs of this proceeding and pray that they recover such sum and for such other relief as may be just.

Hunt, Hill & Betts (sig.)
Proctors for Claimant,
Office and Office Address,
165 Broadway,
Borough of Manhattan,
New York City, N.Y.

-------------------------------------------

STATE OF NEW YORK )
: ss
)
COUNTY OF NEW YORK
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

WOLCOTT G. LANE, being duly sworn, deposes and says I am one of the Executors of William Augustus Spencer, deceased, and am one of the claimants in the above entitled claim. The above claim is true to my own knowledge except as to the matters stated to be alleged upon information and belief and as to those matters I believe it to be true.

Wolcott G. Lane (sig.)

Sworn to before me this
13th day of January, 1913.

Alexander Begg (sig.)
Notary Public, # 414
New York County.