New York, Dec 17 – The White Star line has agreed to pay $664,000 in settlement of all claims arising for the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, when more than 1,5000 persons were drowned, the line announced here to-day.
Of this amount approximately $500,000 would be distributed among American claimants, $50,000 to British claimants and $114,000 would be required for interest and expenses in connection with the numerous suits.
Forty-four attorneys, representing that number of persons out of more than 60 who have filed claims against the line have signified their willingness to accept the settlement terms, according to George W Betts Jr., one of the lines attorneys.
The proposition grew out of the activities of the claimants committee appointed last summer, which carried on a long investigation and fixed the total claims at $2,500,000.
As about $500,000 would be paid directly to American claimants, Mr Betts explained that each one would receive approximately twenty per cent of his claim. Under no circumstances, he added, will the money be distributed pro rata among the claimants.
If all of the claimants, both in this country and Great Britain agree to the proposition, the White Star line will be released from all further liabilities growing out of the Titanic disaster. The offer, however, is not contingent upon its acceptance by all claimants. Mr Betts said that all who accept the proposition will receive their proper share. If any claimants do not accept, their cases will be carried on in the courts.
The agreement which calls for the money to be deposited in a New York bank is now being circulated among those having claims and must be acted upon by December 30, to become operative.