Updates on the Toddler Death Aboard Royal Carribean Cruise Ship
If you’re in a major lawsuit against a high-powered corporation, that corporation will do whatever is in their power to win the case. This includes ensuring that criminal charges against you stick in order to ensure that they don’t have to pay out a large sum of money.
One family is learning this the hard way after their toddler fell to her death aboard a Royal Carribean vessel. In a story that made national headlines, Sam Anello, grandfather of Chloe Wiegand, placed his granddaughter aboard a ledge along an open window through which she fell to her death. The family blames Royal Carribean and says the grandfather did not know that the window was open. They say Chloe liked to bang on the glass at her brother’s hockey games. But the ledge on which she was placed was the only open window in the surrounding area. Chloe fell to her death.
Police in Puerto Rico have charged the grandfather with negligent homicide. Now Royal Carribean is hoping to make those charges stick. They provided evidence to the court that appears to show that the grandfather “knew” the window was open when he placed Chloe on the ledge. They are asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit blaming them for negligence.
How Good is Royal Carribean’s Evidence?
Royal Carribean claims that they have evidence that Anello leaned through the open window prior to placing Chloe on the ledge. This would, at least on the surface, appear to refute any claims that the grandfather did not know that the window was open when he placed Chloe on the ledge with the open window. Documents say that Anello held Chloe on the ledge for about 34 seconds before he lost hold of her and she fell to her death.
If true, this could spell disaster for Sam Anello. At this point, he is only facing charges for negligent homicide. But if he knowingly placed his granddaughter in that extreme danger, the charges may become more severe. And that’s exactly what Royal Carribean is hoping.
Meanwhile, attorneys for the family claim that Royal Carribean is being deceptive. They only showed the court shots from two of thirteen cameras that are set up aboard the vessel. But if even one of those cameras shows Sam Anello leaning through the only open window in the area, then that may be enough to not only dismiss the family’s lawsuit, but also to get the charges against the grandfather increased.
The family’s attorney maintains that the windows simply didn’t meet established safety recommendations, even those supposedly imposed by Royal Carribean itself. The cruise line says it’s not their job to warn against common sense situations.
Talk to a Cruise Line Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love was injured or killed aboard a cruise ship, Miami admiralty & maritime attorney Michael F. Guilford can file an injury lawsuit on your behalf and recover damages related to your injuries, grief, or reduced quality of life. Talk to us today to set up a free consultation.