TIP | Limitation of Liability Hearings | Claim of Zadoc L. White, Stephen L. Bartlett and Clift R. Clapp (Percival W. White)

Limitation of Liability Hearings

CLAIM OF ZADOC L. WHITE, STEPHEN L. BARTLETT and CLIFT R. CLAPP (PERCIVAL W. WHITE)


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, for Limitation
of its liability as owner of the Steamship
"TITANIC".
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The claim of ZADOC L. WHITE, STEPHEN L. BARTLETT and CLIFT R. CLAPP, as Executors under the Last Will and Testament of PERCIVAL W. WHITE, alleges as follows:

FIRST: That the above named claimants were on or about the 29th day of May, 1912, duly appointed, and now are the Executors under the Last Will and Testament of Percival W. White, 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 Maine. A certified copy of Letters Testamentary issues by the Probate Court for the County of Cumberland, State of Maine, to the aforesaid Zadoc L. White, Stephen L. Bartlett arid Clift R. Clapp, is hereto annexed and filed herewith.

SECOND: The said Percival W. White left him surviving his wife, Edith F. White, and a son, Percival W. White, Jr., and Matilda White, a granddaughter, the daughter of the said surviving son, 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 passengers steamships operated by petitioner between Southampton and New York .

FOURTH: That on or about April 10th, 1912, the said Percival W. White took passage at Southampton, England on the said steamship "TITANIC", under a contract previously made between the said Percival W. White and the petitioner herein, for a valuable consideration paid to petitioner, by the terms of which contract petitioner agreed safely to transport the said Percival W. White 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. 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 Percival W. White, 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 Percival W. White 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 Percival W. White.

SIXTH: That the English Statute, known as Lord Campbell's Act, Vict. 9 and 10, Chapter 93, and amendments thereof, provide that when the death of a person is caused by wrongful act, neglect or default which, if death had not ensued, 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 of 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 those 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 nay 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 Percival W. White 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 Ten Thousand Dollars, and have a claim and cause of action against the petitioner for the recovery of same, for the benefit of the said Edith P. White, widow of the said Percival W. White, Percival W. White, Jr., the son of the said Percival W. White, and Matilda White, the granddaughter of the said Percival W. White. 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 THE CLAIMANT ALLEGES UPON INFORMATION AND BELIEF AS FOLLOWS:

EIGHTH: Claimant repeats as if again set forth the allegations contained in paragraphs FIRST, SECOND, THIRD and FOURTH and FIFTH of this complaint.

NINTH: That included in the personal property on board the "TITANIC" which was lost at the time of the sinking thereof and which was never salved or recovered, were the luggage and personal effects of the said Percival W. White, deceased, which petitioner had contracted safely to convey to New York as aforesaid; that such luggage and personal effects are contained in an itemized list, with the market values, upon information and belief of each item at the date of such which is annexed hereto and made a part hereof marked Schedule "A".

TENTH: That by reason of the facts set forth in the foregoing second cause of action, claimants as administrators of the said Percival W. White have a claim against the petitioner in the sum of $1,000.00 for the loss of the said personal effects of the said Percival W. White in addition to the aforesaid claim for the loss of life of the said Percival W. White in the sum of $10,000.00.

WHEREFORE claimants pray that the Commissioner appointed to receive claims herein will report to the Court that the sum of $11,000.00 together with interest from April 14th, 1912, is due to these claimants, together with their costs to this proceeding, and that such sum and interest be allowed to claimants in this proceeding, and for such other and further relief as may be just.

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


 

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

 

GEO. WHITEFIELD BETTS, JR. being duly sworn, says that he is one of the proctors for the above named claimants; that the said claimants are absent from this district and more than a hundred miles from the City of New York, and deponent is authorized to act for said claimants herein; that he has read the foregoing claim and knows the contents thereof, and that the matters therein stated are true to the best of his knowledge, information and belief; that deponent's means of information are letters from the claimants in his possession, which he believes to be true.

Sworn to before me this
25th day of February, 1913.

Geo. Whitefield Betts, Jr. (sig.)

Alexander Begg (sig.),
Notary Public #44,
New York County .

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