52ºF

Royal Caribbean wants civil lawsuit in baby’s fatal fall dismissed; accuses grandfather of negligence

Cruise line claims grandfather knew window was open when baby fell to her death

MIAMI – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. aggressively blames grandfather for 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand’s death. The baby’s family believes the cruise line was negligent for leaving a window open causing her to fall to her death.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. claims a video shows the baby’s grandfather knew a tinted glass window was open when she died in July in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In defense to a negligent homicide charge against him, Chloe’s grandfather, Salvatore “Sam” Anello, revealed that he is colorblind. He claims his disability prevented him from noticing that the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas’ tinted window was open when he picked up Chloe, so she could bang on the glass.

The cruise line’s attorneys disagree and claimed on Thursday to have images showing that Anello knew the window was open when he leaned over the railing and out of the window frame.

They want the baby’s family’s civil wrongful death lawsuit, filed in December in the U.S. District Court in Miami, dismissed.

Royal Caribbean attorneys claim this image from surveillance video shows the baby's grandfather knew a window was open.
Royal Caribbean attorneys claim this image from surveillance video shows the baby's grandfather knew a window was open. (Local 10 News)

Anello “exposes Chloe to the open window, which was 11 decks high off the ground, with nothing but a concrete pier below, for approximately 34 seconds at which time she unfortunately fell," attorneys wrote in a motion asking the court to dismiss the case.

Anello and her family claim the cruise line employees were negligent for keeping the window open in the first place. The cruise line’s attorneys accuse Anello of recklessly endangering Chloe’s life, because there was no “hidden danger.”

The judge is likely to announce a decision on March 11.


About the Authors: