The sinking of the Titanic has long been the subject of romance novels and history books, but now may find its way into legal works. It has long been suspected that the ship sank due to shoddy material and construction that made it more vulnerable to sinking. Now, experts have focused on the rivets — raising the possibility that this was the largest actionable personal injury case in history.
The report is an indictment of the construction company, Harland and Wolff of Belfast, Northern Ireland, which sought to build the ship in a hurried and perhaps shoddy way. This put pressure on the riveters.
“Under the pressure to get these ships up, they ramped up the riveters, found materials from additional suppliers, and some was not of quality,” said Timothy Foecke, a metallurgist at the U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology who has been studying the Titanic for a decade.
“The company knowingly purchased weaker rivets, but I think they did it not knowing they would be purchasing something substandard enough that when they hit an iceberg their ship would sink,” said co-author Jennifer Hooper McCarty.
When they tested 48 rivets from the ship, they found that slag concentrations (a byproduct of smelting) were at 9 percent, when they should have been 2 to 3 percent.
Of course, the statute of limitations has run on this one. However, one value of such lawsuits today is that they can often reveal the truth in such disasters through the process of discovery and litigation. It would have made for the largest use of res ipsa loquitur in the history of the world.
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6 thoughts on “Titanic Personal Injury Case: Titanic Found to Be Largest Product Defect Case in History”
i studied on internet ,that there is little bit mistake of the carpentar who rivetted the bolts of the front edges, there is the major default of the captain of the TITANIC ,who was present on that day, when he bloody knew that the weather is cold , where he cann’t identify the shape and size of the far object i.e. Iceburg then why did he permited to the coordinatoq to run the ship at that much fast speed.
As the above poster already stated, the actual material of the ship is essentially meaningless Wouldn’t the very fact that the damage to the ship and subsequent sinking were proven to be caused by an iceberg (which could have penetrated just about any building material that was available during this era) pretty much deny any legitimacy of an argument like this? This is pretty ridiculous….. Thanks
Another, unrelated, ‘riveting’ r/i/l comes to us from the Big Dig in Boston where a female passenger was killed after 12 tons of cement ceiling panels fell on the car her husband was driving inside the I-90 connector tunnel.
…“It’s not one thing. It’s usually many, many things that go wrong together,” he says.
Litman notes the five elementary phases of any massive construction undertaking: The concept, initial design, specified structure, or what it was supposed to be, the as-built structure, or what it actually wound up being, and finally maintenance and inspection of the structure as it is used…”
Seems a little exaggerated given that many ships have survived close encounters with icebergs and were much less prepared than Titanic. But maybe that is so. However, risks that can be guarded against should always be guarded against.
Like a more informed person wrote when this story first came out:
The ship hit the iceberg with the equivalent energy of a Saturn moon rocket going 18,000 MPH flying into a granite mountain.
It wouldn’t have mattered if the rivets were made of titanium. Good Lord, some people need to do some basic research.
I am not so sure the statute of limitations (s/l) has run. As was stated: “The company knowingly purchased weaker rivets, but I think they did it not knowing they would be purchasing something substandard enough that when they hit an iceberg their ship would sink,” said co-author Jennifer Hooper McCarty.” I suspect it was known then that icebergs patrolled the North Atlantic in the spring of 1912,and what the company knew or didn’t know is certainly something worthy of pursuit. If the claim is fraud, I wonder if the discovery rule might apply to commence the running of the s/l now. Since White Star is out of business, it’s moot of course, but, who knows maybe there are some corporate assets still “floating” out there.
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