Another Titanic Question

Did the relatives of those who perished on the Titanic sue White Star Lines for negligence and win in court? If so, what were the damages awarded?

I realize that people didn’t sue as much back then as they do now, or perhaps they signed something that released White Star of responsibility.

Actually lawsuits started being filed as soon as the survivors dried off:

Lawsuits, The Titanic: A Sue-happy Society in 1912

I’m not sure that title “sue-happy society” is apt. Surely the owners were at fault and compensation was certainly due.

A hair-splitting nitpick: They couldn’t have sued for negligence, since that legal basis for claims for compensation in tort wasn’t recognised in English law until the seminal 1932 case of Donoghue v Stevenson. They would probably have sued on a contractual basis, with the additional twist that you would have to construe a contractual claim of those who died under contract which then passed on to their heirs by means of succession, since the relatives would, in most cases, not be in a contractual relationship with White Star themselves.

The title is based on the opening paragraph, which indicates that as the writer and his friends left the theatre after watching Titanic, his friends assumed that if it had happened today, there would have been many more lawsuits.

In essence, he’s simply rebutting the common assumption that people today are more litigious than they were a century ago, which simply isn’t the case; the Titanic litigation is a good example.