Limitation of Liability Hearings




The Petition of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company,
Limited, for Limitation of its liability as owner of the Steamship


The Claimant, the Long Island Loan & Trust Company, as Executor under the last Will and Testament of WYCKOFF VAN DERHOEF, deceased, alleges as follows:


FIRST: That at all times herein mentioned the Long Island Loan & Trust Company was and is a corporation organized and existing under the Laws of the State of New York and a resident and citizen of the State of New York . That Wyckoff Van Derhoef died on or about the 14th day of April, 1912, and at the time of his death was a resident of the Borough of Brooklyn, County of Kings, City of New York and a citizen of the State of New York and of the United States, and left a last Will and Testament, which was duly admitted to probate in the Surrogate's Court, County Kings , State of New York , on May 11th, 1912. Letters Testamentary were granted on the same day under the said Will to the said Long Island Loan & Trust Company, which is now the duly appointed and qualified executor of the said Will of Wyckoff Van Derhoef, deceased.

SECOND: The said Wyckoff Van Derhoef, deceased, left him surviving his wife, Laura E. Van Derhoef, and his sons Marshall Van Derhoef and Newell Van Derhoef. There are no other children and no grandchildren, step-children, parents, grand parents, step-father or step-mother him surviving.

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 claimant's testator took passage at Southampton, England, on the said steamship "TITANIC" under a contract previously made between this claimant' s testator and the petitioner herein, for a valuable consideration paid to petitioner, by the terms of which contract petitioner agreed safely to transport this claimant's testator 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 Wyckoff Van Derhoef 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 properly to utilize said life boats and in failing, after the said collision, to take proper measures for the rescue of said Wyckoff Van Derhoef 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 this claimant's testator.

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 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 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 claimant's testator 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. By reason of the facts hereinbefore stated the claimant has a cause of action entitling it to file this claim, and files this claim for damages for the loss of life of the said Wyckoff Van Derhoef for the benefit of the following persons, namely, Laura E. Van Derhoef, widow, and Marshall Van Derhoef and Newell Van Derhoef, sons of said Wyckoff Van Derhoef, deceased.

SEVENTH: That by reason of' the premises this claimant and the aforesaid persons for whose benefit the said claim is filed have been damaged by the petitioner in the sum of Sixty Thousand Dollars through the loss of the life of claimant's testator.

FOR A SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION this claimant alleges as follows

EIGHTH: It repeats and re-alleges the allegations contained in the "FIRST'', "SECOND", "THIRD", "FOURTH", and "FIFTH paragraphs hereof as if the same were again fully set forth.

NINTH: That included in the property so lost and destroyed as aforesaid through the sinking of the "TITANIC" were certain luggage and personal effects, the property of this claimant's testator, which petitioner had contracted safely to transport from Southampton to New York . That no part of the said property was ever salved or recovered and an itemized list thereof, with the market values of each item at the date of such loss, is annexed hereto and made a part hereof marked Schedule A.

TENTH: That by reason of the premises claimant has been damaged in the sum of $957.00 through the loss of the aforesaid luggage and personal effects, in addition to the aforesaid sum of $60,000.00 claimed in the first cause of action above set forth. No credits have been given and no payments have been made on account of the claims above set forth.

WHEREFORE Claimant prays that the Commissioner appointed to receive claims herein will report to the Court that the sum of $60,957.00, together with interest from April 14th, 1912, and costs of this proceeding is due to this claimant and should be allowed to him out of any funds deposited in the Registry of the Court in this proceeding and for such other and further relief as may be just.

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




C. L. Rossiter being duly sworn, deposes and says I am the Vice President of the Long Island Loan & Trust Company, the claimant above named; I have read the above claim and it is true to my own knowledge except as to the matters therein stated to be alleged upon information and belief and as to those matters I believe it to be true.

Sworn to before me this 6th C. L. Rossiter (sig.)
day of December, 1912.:

Oscar F. Youngman (sig.)

Notary Public, No. 12, King's Co. , N. Y.,
Certificate filed in New York County,
Register's Cert. 8987 Kings Co. 3099 N.Y. Co.