In July last year, we published a tragic incident about 18-month-old child who fell to her death from the deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Read the incident through this link.
The family of the toddler filed a law suit against the cruise ship last month and asked for compensation. They said the company failed to protect their child and other vacationers from potentially dangerous open windows. The child’s grandfather said he didn’t know the window was open.
But the lawsuit has now taken a dramatic turn. Royal Caribbean is blaming a “reckless and irresponsible” grandfather in the death of the toddler, according to the Indianapolis Star newspaper.
Salvatore Anello was playing with his granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand, in the “Kids Water Zone” of the Freedom of the Seas ship when he lifted her up and out of the 11th-story window he knew to be open, the cruise ship alleged in a motion to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by Chloe’s family in Florida.
“His actions, which no reasonable person could have foreseen, were reckless and irresponsible and the sole reason why Chloe is no longer with her parents,” the cruise line stated.
Anello denied knowing the window was open — insisting he had picked up Chloe so she could bang on the glass as she would at her older brother’s hockey games.
But Royal Caribbean has released footage from two security cameras that appear to show Anello held Chloe outside of the window for about 34 seconds.
Shortly after the video was made public, the Weingand family’s attorney Michael Winkleman, issued a statement to CBS News calling Royal Caribbean’s motion “baseless and deceptive.”
Winkelman called for the cruise line to release additional views from what he said were 13 cameras in the area.
“It is clear that Royal Caribbean’s tactic is to blame Chloe’s grandfather rather than to accept that Royal Caribbean did not implement industry standards for toddler safety aboard its ships which ultimately led to Chloe’s tragic death,” Winkleman said in a statement.
“Royal Caribbean has premised its defense in this case and its blame on Chloe’s grandfather by supplying two deceptive views from its CCTV cameras to the court and the Puerto Rico authorities.”
The child’s grandfather is also facing criminal charges in Puerto Rico, where prosecutors have charged him with negligent homicide in his granddaughter’s death.
Watch the footage below released by Royal Caribbean