• U.S.

Transport: Ward’s Award

1 minute read

Last week the Ward Line, now operating as New York & Cuba Mail Steamship Co., offered to pay about 400 claimants against it an average of about $3,000 apiece. Of this $1,250,000 total, $890,000 would go to Morro Castle plaintiffs and the balance to Mohawk plaintiffs. In the case of the Morro Castle, which burned in September 1934 with a loss of 124 lives, about 80 suits have been entered for passenger deaths, 30 for crew deaths, 225 for personal injuries. Claims in the case of the Mohawk, which a few months after the first tragedy collided with a freighter and sank, drowning 45, totaled about 60.

Year ago public sensibilities were shocked when the company offered to parcel out among all claimants the sum of $20,000. According to the terms of the passenger contracts, of which many a victim remained unaware, claims were invalid unless entered within 30 days.

The Mohawk suits were to have gone to trial this week in a U. S. District Court in Manhattan. Two days before, the company announced its offer to settle with both Mohawk and Morro Castle plaintiffs out of court. The trial was then adjourned, and the lawyers representing the claimants indicated that virtually all their clients would accept.

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