Charlotte, NC asked in Admiralty / Maritime, Civil Rights, Libel & Slander and Wrongful Death for South Carolina

Q: My grandfather disappeared at sea while abord the S.S. Robert Luckenbach owned by the U.S.S. Luckenbach company. Help?

It was 1951 after leaving Panama. The Captain wrote a letter questioning his mental health to N.Y. before notifying the family of his disappearance. Would I have a case against U.S.S. Luckenbach steamship company?

1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Maritime Law Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: I'm sorry for the loss of your grandfather at sea. If there are any remedies available under South Carolina law, a local attorney would need to advise on those. But your question remains open for two weeks and you also posted under Admiralty/Maritime. Under U.S. maritime law, the Death on the High Seas Act (46 U.S.C. § 30301–30308) is governed by a three-year statute of limitations. From the description, it looks like this took place in 1951, more than seventy years ago.

Additionally, Luckenbach Steamship Company closed their operations after the Vietnam War sometime during the 1970s. I don't know if they went into dissolution or whether their rights and obligations were assumed by other shipping companies. I'm sorry, but this looks like a difficult one, in terms of the time element and the steamship company. You could reach out to law firms to discuss further - that would answer your question definitively. Good luck

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