Many claims were made for the loss of cargo and of belongings (expensive or otherwise) and of course also for lost lives and personal injury. The property claims ranged from 8s6d (about $2) for Edwina Troutt's marmalade maker to over $177,000 in total for Charlotte Cardeza's baggage. The largest single claim for cargo lost was around a quarter of a million dollars by a shipping agent. The total of all claims (including those for loss of life) amounted to nearly 17 million dollars. The total eventually paid out was less than $700,000.
Thank you Bob! But, I would like to have more detailed information on this matter, especially Mrs Cardezza's extensive account. I have located in "Triumph & Tragedy" but I cannot make out any details. Can you suggest where I can locate it in a more clear way or even on line? Thanks!
George, you might try a Google Search using a veriaty of keywords to see what's on the net. I tried "RMS Titanic Liability Limitation Litigation and got THIS
I don't know if anything there will be especially helpful. Some of those links look promising the others appear to be wholly irrelevant. Unfortunately, a lot of the documentation gathering dust in the records vaults on both sides of the ocean have not been transcribed to the internet.
Maybe try another edition of T&T, George - perhaps some were better printed than others. In my copy the scans of the Cardeza list do vary in quality, but with the help of good light and a magnifying glass every item on every page is readable. Sorry, I can't recall seeing the list anywhere else in print.
Claims for losses re goods shipped on maritime contracts of affreightment (bills of lading) are limited by the terms of the contract. In my latter-day experience this used to be a maximum of £100 per package for goods shipped on bills of lading determinable under English law.
This could be extended to £200 by special agreement between shipowners and insurers.
A shipper's first recourse is to his insurer for - naturally - the insured value. The insurer will then offset his loss by recovering the contractual limited liability value from the shipowner.
Payment of an ad valorem freight rate is tantamount to paying an insurance premium direct to the shipowner whereby the shipper can recover a pro rata sum direct from the shipowner.
The terms of maritime contracts of affreightment are superseded under English law by the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act and under U.S.law by the Harter Act. However, both of these instruments post-date the Titanic disaster.
Irrelevant to Titanic and specific to tramp shipping, there may also be over-riding clauses set out in a collateral charter-party which vary the standard bill of lading terms.
Claims for passengers' personal effects are limited by the terms of passage as set out on the reverse of the passage ticket which itself is evidence of a contract of carriage. Depending upon these terms and the value of his effects, the passenger would be advised to take out collateral insurance.
The UK authority on maritime contracts of affreightment etc. is Scrutton on Charterparties and Bills of Lading published by Sweet & Maxwell.
George, it's possible that not all the claims were honest, as there was no record of individual items of clothing and so on. When Empress of Ireland sank, passengers claimed to have large amounts in the Purser's safe. Their luck ran out when the safe was recovered and opened. There was very little passengers' cash or valuables in it at all. This event may have influenced the Titanic claims, which were greatly reduced as the court case went on.
One lady provided proof of her clothing lost by producing the receipts from the French shops that supplied it. From memory, I think her name was Drummond. She was probably and exception.
Hmm. Something always comes along to diminish one's faith in human nature, doesn't it? Imagine surviving the world's greatest modern peacetime disaster to date (recorded at any rate) and then plotting to defraud on insurance? Ms Drummond must have been very level headed. What to save? The receipts, of course!
Thank you guys for answering back so soon. I am afraid I will not be able to communicate with you so often since I have to join the army for a year or so. In any case, I will be back sooner or later! Thank you all!!!