Limitation of Liability Hearings




In the matter
The Petition of the Oceanic Steam Navigation
Company, Limited, owner of the steamship "Titanic"
in a cause of Limitation of Liability, civil and maritime.

To the Honorable the Judges of the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, and

To Alex. Gilchrist, Jr. Esq., the Commissioner
appointed to receive claims herein.

The claim of FLORENCE BRIGGS CUMINGS, individually and as executrix under the last Will and Testament and Codicil of John Bradley Cumings, deceased, ALBERT H. MARCKWALD, and A. LAWRENCE PHILLIPS; as executors under the said last Will and Testament and Codicil of John Bradley Cumings, deceased, alleges as follows

For a first cause of action.

1. That Florence Briggs Cumings resides at No. 50 East 64th Street, in the City of New York.

That the claimant Albert H. Marckwald resides at Short Hills, New Jersey.

That the claimant A. Lawrence Phillips resides at 425 West End Avenue, in the City of New York.

2. That on or about the 24th day of June, 1912, Florence Briggs Cumings and Albert H. Marckwald were duly appointed by the Surrogate's Court in and for the County of New York in the State of New York as executrix and executor of the last Will and Testament and Codicil of John Bradley Cumings, deceased, and that on the 28th day of June, 1912, A. Lawrence Phillips:, aforesaid, was appointed by the said Surrogate's Court as executor under the last Will and Testament and Codicil of the said John Bradley Cumings, deceased.

That the said John Bradley Cumings lost his life upon the sinking of the petitioner's steamship "Titanic" on the high seas on or about the 15th day of April, 1912, and was the husband of the claimant, Florence Briggs Cumings, aforesaid, and together with herself, was a passenger for hire on the said steamship "Titanic" and had embarked thereon as such passenger at the port of Cherbourg in France, on or about the 10th day of April, 1912, under a contract for a valuable consideration made with the petitioner herein for the safe transportation of his person and personal effects between the said port of Cherbourg and the city of New York in the State of New York in the United States of America.

That said deceased left him surviving his wife, Florence Briggs Cumings, the claimant above-named, and three minor children, to wit, John Bradley Cumings, Junior, aged fourteen years and over, Wells Cumings and Thayer Cumings, below the age of fourteen years, for whose joint benefit this claim is made.

3. That while on the said voyage and on the high seas the said steamship "Titanic" through no fault of the claimants aforesaid or claimants' intestate, but wholly by reason of the faults and negligence of the petitioner herein, its officers, agents and servants, collided with an iceberg at about 11.46 p.m., on or about the 14th day of April, 1912, by reason of which collision the said steamship "Titanic" sank and the claimants' intestate lost his life, and that the loss and damage to the claimants aforesaid by reason thereof was done, occasioned or incurred riot without the knowledge or privity of the petitioner herein.

4. On information and belief the above-named petitioner is a Corporation organized under the laws of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the said steamship "Titanic" was a British vessel and was owned by the said petitioner, and the said petitioner is and was a common carrier of goods and passengers for hire, and as a British vessel was subject to the laws of the said The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

5. That by the law of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland a person including a corporation is liable in an action for damages if another is killed by some wrongful act, neglect or default such as would have entitled the person injured, but for his death, to have maintained an action and recovered damages against such person in respect to it.

Such an action is to be brought for the benefit of the wife, husband, parent or child of the deceased, and the relatives or personal representatives of a foreigner killed by a collision caused by the negligent navigation of a British ship on the high seas are entitled to bring an action in respect of his death.

Such an action must be commenced within twelve calendar months after the death of the person injured and where there is an executor or administrator of the deceased such action must be brought in his name, but where he fails to bring the action within six months after the death the right of action passes to any or all of the relatives entitled to benefit.

6. That by the laws of the State of New York an action is maintainable in the Courts of the State of New York and may be begun within two years from the time of the death of decedent, and that on or about the 4th day of October, 1912, the petitioner herein filed the petition herein and by which it prayed that pursuant to the law of the United States all persons having claims against the petitioner or against the said steamship "Titanic" be enjoined from prosecuting any such suit at law but that such person or persons file his or their claim with a Commissioner to be appointed by this honorable Court.

That subsequent thereto and on or about the 4th day of October, 1912, this Court made an order in and by which all actions then pending were stayed and enjoined and any and, all persons intending to bring such suit were enjoined from so doing, but were cited to appear herein and file their claims with Alex. Gilchrist, Esq., a Commissioner named in the said Order of this Court to receive such claims.

7. That by reason of the premises these claimants have been damaged in and claims the sum of One hundred thousand dollars. ($100,000)

For a second cause of action:

Claimants herein, repeating all the allegations made in the first, second, third and fourth paragraphs of the above first cause of action, so far as the same may be material, herein alleges and claims further -

8. That the claimant intestate had baggage and valuables with him on said voyage, as claimants are informed and verily believe, to the value and amount of $2223.50, a detailed schedule of which is hereto annexed, marked "Exhibit A".

That said baggage and valuables were lost in the collision by reason of the negligence aforesaid of the petitioner hereinbefore mentioned and has never been delivered, or returned to the claimants who are by law authorized to receive the same or its value, and no credit has been received on account thereof of any kind, nature or description.

WHEREFORE, claimants make and file this claim against the above-named petitioner in the sum of One hundred and two thousand two hundred and twenty three dollars and fifty cents ($102,223.50) and pray that the Commissioner appointed to receive claims herein will report to the Court that the said sum is due to these claimants, and pray that this Court will decide that they recover from the petitioner herein their damages as aforesaid with interest and costs and should be allowed to them out of any fund now or which may hereafter come in the registry of this Court in this proceeding, and for such other and further relief as may be just.


Harvey, Barber & McKey(?),
Proctors for Claimants,
32 Nassau Street,
Borough of Manhattan,
City of New York.

(Gordon Illegible)
Proctor and Advocate.



County of New York

Florence Briggs Cumings, one of the above-named claimants, being duly sworn says that the above claim is true to her own knowledge except as to the matters therein stated to be on information and belief and as to those matters she believes it to be true.

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

Florence Briggs Cumings (sig.)

John A. Hayes (sig.)