Docket No. 2200: Leo Schwabacher

Docket No. 2200.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
on behalf of
Louis H. Schwabacher, Jule K. Schwabacher, Hettie S. Reichman, Florence Messing, Mrs. Maud S. Weil, Mrs. Bertha S. Greisheim, The Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company of Baltimore, Maryland, Executor of the Estate of Leo M. Schwabacher, Deceased, and Louis H. Schwabacher, Ancillary Administrator of the Estate of Leo M. Schwabacher, Deceased,
Claimants,

v.

GERMANY.

PARKER, Umpire, rendered the decision of the Commission.

This case is before the Umpire for decision on a certificate of the two National Commissioners[a] certifying their disagreement.

It appears from the record that Leo M. Schwabacher, an American national, was lost on the Lusitania. He was a bachelor whose age is given at several places in the record as 49, at several other places as 43, and in another as 44 years. He was traveling with his friend Henry B. Sonneborn, who was also lost on the Lusitania (see Docket No. 2040[b]). The decedent had taken up his residence in Baltimore in the year 1911, where he engaged in the coal and wood business, which, howver, had been disposed of several years prior to the sinking of the Lusitania, and the inferences are that the decedent was spending the greater part of his time in Paris with his friend Sonneborn.

The decedent had inherited a substantial amount from his father’s estate from which he derived an income of approximately $10,000 per annum. He was survived by an aged mother, since deceased, and several brothers and sisters, all of whom are claimants herein and possessed independent incomes. The decedent did not reside with or make any contributions to any of his relatives and there is nothing in the record to suggest that any of them were dependent on him or could reasonably have anticipated contributions from him in the future. The will of the decedent made substantial provision for his friend Henry B. Sonneborn, who was lost with him, and the legacy intended for his friend reverted to his residuary estate, of which the individual claimants herein are the beneficiaries.

The claim is made that the decedent rendered valuable services to his brothers and sisters through his participation in the management of their father’s estate. That father, however, had in his will named a brother and a brother-in-law of the decedent as executors of his estate and the record indicated that it was actively managed by them, while for some time prior to his death the decedent spent much of his time in Europe. The damages, if any, suffered by the claimants herein because of their being deprived through his death of the intermittent services of the decedent in the management of their father’s estate are too remote to furnish any basis of recovery against Germany (see Decision in Life-Insurance Claims, Decisions and Opinions, pages 121–140). The record fails to disclose that any of the claimants herein have sustained any damages, measured by pecuniary standards, resulting from the death of the deceased.

The decedent had with him on the Lusitania personal property, including jewelry and cash, aggregating in value $5,050.

Applying the rules announced in the Lusitania Opinion and in the other decisions of this Commission to the facts as disclosed by the record herein, the Commission decrees that under the Treaty of Berlin of August 25, 1921, and in accordance with its terms the Government of Germany is obligated to pay to the Government of the United States on behalf of the Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company of Baltimore, Maryland, Executor of the Estate of Leo M. Schwabacher, the sum of five thousand fifty dollars ($5,050.00) with interest thereon at the rate of five per cent per annum from May 7, 1915; and further decrees that the Government of Germany is not obligated to pay to the Government of the United States any amount on behalf of the other claimants herein.

Done at Washington January 7, 1925.

EDWIN B. PARKER,
Umpire.

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[a] Dated December 22, 1924.
[b] Ante, pages 502-504.