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TACOMA — A man who sold a Titanic boarding pass he inherited to an antique dealer for $1,000, then saw it bring $100,000 at auction, has been awarded $18,700 from the profits.
A Pierce County Superior Court jury returned the verdict Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by Vern Westby, 72, of Parkland, against Alan Gorsuch of Sanford & Son Antiques in Tacoma.
Gorsuch was ordered to pay a share of the auction profits to Westby, who inherited the pass from his late wife, a cousin of Titanic survivor Anna Sofia Sjoblom.
Michael Schwartz, Westby’s lawyer, said Gorsuch told Westby the pass was worthless and that it wouldn’t bring in as much as $500.
But Gorsuch, who said he planned to appeal, testified it was Westby who set the $1,000 price and that he knew little about the value of Titanic memorabilia at the time.
Sjoblom’s pass, an inspection card, showed she had been quarantined for syphilis and tuberculosis. The card also served as her boarding pass because Sjoblom, a third-class passenger, transferred onto the Titanic at the last minute after being bumped from another liner because of a coal strike.
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