Royal Caribbean Not Responsible For Toddler’s 2019 Cruise Ship Death, Judge Rules

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) — Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises is not liable for the decease of an 18-month-old miss who fell from her grandfather’s arms done a model connected the Freedom of the Seas  cruise ship, a justice ruled Tuesday.

When Chloe Wiegand fell from the 11th level of the vessel docked successful Puerto Rico successful July 2019, the work rested with her grandfather, Salvatore “Sam” Anello, U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham ruled.

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

“In the instant case, the information of lifting the Decedent implicit the handrailing and extending her retired to the unfastened model was unfastened and evident specified that Defendant owed nary work to pass its passengers of the dangers of specified conduct,” Graham wrote successful the ruling filed successful Southern District of Florida.

Anello lifted the miss implicit a woody obstruction and the held her retired of the unfastened window. (Source: Court documents filed connected January 8, 2020 by Royal Caribbean Cruises successful the United States District Court of Southern Florida)

Anello had testified that helium lifted up Chloe and placed her feet connected a woody handrailing and didn’t consciousness immoderate solid erstwhile helium extended his manus to interaction the window, according to the ruling. Video footage from the cruise shows the gramps leaning implicit the handrailing arsenic the model was unfastened earlier her lifted up the child, Graham wrote successful the ruling.

“Despite not feeling immoderate solid successful beforehand of him, and without confirming that the model was closed, Mr. Anello lifted the Decedent beyond the woody handrailing and extended her assemblage person to the model opening … exposing her to the unfastened model and the dock beneath wherever she yet fell to her death.” the ruling said.

The justice said it wasn’t Royal Caribbean’s work to pass passengers of the “obvious information of placing a kid connected oregon done an unfastened window.”

“This Court finds that a tenable idiosyncratic done mean usage of his senses would person known of the dangers associated with Mr. Anello’s conduct. Accordingly, the Defendant owed nary work to pass of it,” the ruling said.

A lawyer for the household said they were amazed and saddened by the ruling and would record an entreaty soon.

“This is simply a substance that should beryllium decided by a jury, and we are assured and hopeful the appellate tribunal volition agree,” lawyer Michael Winkleman said successful a statement. “We volition proceed to combat and rise consciousness astir the dangers of unintentional toddler model falls. This lawsuit was ever astir Chloe and shining a airy connected her little but beauteous life. That extremity has not changed.”

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CNN has reached retired to Royal Caribbean for comment.

(Source: WAPA-TV)

Chloe’s household filed a wrongful decease lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Cruises successful December 2019, arguing the cruise enactment failed to comply with manufacture information standards to forestall guests from falling from windows.

After a national justice denied Royal Caribbean’s question to disregard the case, the institution refiled it, and Graham sided with the institution Tuesday.

The calamity occurred connected July 7, 2019, arsenic Chloe was playing with her gramps connected the 11th level adjacent an unfastened model portion Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas was docked successful San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Anello told CBS News astatine the clip that she fell retired of his arms erstwhile helium picked her up and tried to basal her up connected the railing of 1 of the windows, reasoning the model was closed. “It’s similar it disappeared. It’s similar the solid disappeared,” helium said.

With 1 limb hooked astir her, Anello said helium was leaning guardant to sound connected the solid with his different arm, “I deliberation that’s the constituent wherever she — slipped retired of me.”

But the details of the autumn person been disputed. Port Authority officials said Anello sat the miss successful the window, mislaid his equilibrium and the miss fell to her death.

Anello pleaded guilty past October to negligent homicide successful Chloe’s decease and was sentenced to 3 years of probation.

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(©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)

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