Royal Caribbean is not responsible for the death of a toddler on a cruise ship in 2019

When Chloe Wiegand fell from the 11th floor of the ship docked in Puerto Rico in July 2019, the blame fell on her grandfather, Salvatore “Sam” Anello, U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham ruled.

Chloe’s parents, Alan Wiegand and Kimberly Schultz Wiegand, had sued Royal Caribbean for negligence.

“In this case, the danger of lifting the deceased over the handrail and extending him to the open window was open and obvious, so that the defendant was under no obligation to warn his passengers of the dangers of such behavior, ”Graham wrote in the ruling. filed in the Southern District of Florida.

Anello had testified that he lifted Chloe up and placed her feet on a wooden handrail and felt no glass when he reached out to touch the window, according to the ruling. Video footage from the cruise shows the grandfather leaning over the railing as the window was open before she lifted the child, Graham wrote in the ruling.

“Although he did not feel any glass in front of him, and without confirming that the window was closed, Mr. Anello lifted the deceased beyond the wooden railing and laid her body closer to the opening of the the window… exposing her to the open window and the dock beneath where she finally fell to her death. ” says the decision.

The judge said it was not Royal Caribbean’s responsibility to warn passengers of the “obvious danger of placing a child on or through an open window”.

“This Court concludes that a reasonable person by ordinary use of his senses would have known the dangers associated with Mr. Anello’s conduct. Therefore, the defendant had no obligation to warn him,” said the decision. .

A lawyer for the family said they were surprised and saddened by the decision and would appeal soon.

“This is a matter that should be decided by a jury, and we are confident and hopeful that the appeals court will agree,” lawyer Michael Winkleman said in a statement. “We will continue to fight and raise awareness of the dangers of unintentional toddler window falls. This case was still about Chloe and highlighted her short but beautiful life. That goal has not changed.”

The judge dismisses the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Chloe Wiegand against the company Royal Caribbean Cruise.

CNN has contacted Royal Caribbean for comment.

18-month-old baby girl has died

Chloe’s family filed a wrongful death complaint against Royal Caribbean Cruises in December 2019, arguing that the cruise line had failed to meet industry safety standards to prevent guests from falling from windows.
Royal Caribbean to file new petition to dismiss family lawsuit against deceased toddler
After a federal judge dismissed Royal Caribbean’s request to dismiss the case, the company filed it again and Graham sided with the company on Tuesday.
The tragedy occurred on July 7, 2019, as Chloe played with her grandfather on the 11th floor near an open window while Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Anello told CBS News at the time that she fell from his arms when he picked her up and tried to hold her up on the railing of one of the windows, thinking the window was closed. “It’s like he’s gone. It’s like the glass is gone,” he said.

With one arm hanging around her, Anello said he leaned forward to knock on the glass with his other arm, “I think that’s the point where she – slipped out of me.”

But the details of the fall have been disputed. Port Authority officials said Anello sat the girl at the window, lost her balance and the girl was dead.
Anello pleaded guilty last October to negligent homicide in Chloe’s death and was sentenced to three years probation.

CNN’s Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.

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