Clallam Wreck Suit
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from the Victoria Daily Colonist, 20 Jul 1904, pg.8

Action Is Taken Under Advisement by Judge Hanford

Judge Hanford of Seattle has taken under advisement the case of the widow of James J. Smith, who lost his life in the wreck of the 'Clallam', against the Puget Sound Navigation Company, owner of the steamer. Smith was first mate of the ill-fated steamer, and Judge Hanford said that he must look into the law to see if the heirs of an employee of a steamer can bring suit for damages. The heirs of a passenger have that right unquestionable, the court said, but he was in doubt in the case of a member of the family of one of the crew.

A case in point is a suit that grew out of the wreck of the Jane Grey, and Judge Hanford continued the present case until next Monday to satisfy himself on the point of the law. Attorneys for the company made the point that the company could not be charged with negligence regarding the damaged deadlight, which is supposed to have caused the wreck, when Smith, being a member of the crew, did not know of it himself, but Judge Hanford did not consider that point well taken.

A great deal of interest is felt over the outcome of this suit, for if Mrs Smith gets damages, it is said that a number of other cases will be tried against the company.