Cruise Line Says Video Shows Granddad Knew Window Was Open in Toddler Death

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

January 18, 2020

A man who accidentally dropped his granddaughter from the 11th floor of a cruise ship knew the window was open before he held the 18-month-old up to it and lost his grip, a new court filing by Royal Caribbean Cruises claims.

In a motion filed by the cruise line this month, Royal Caribbean Cruises is asking the federal court of the Southern District of Florida to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family against the company for the death of toddler Chloe Rae Margaret Wiegand, who died July 7, 2019 while her family was on board a cruise ship docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

According to a lawsuit filed by the family in December, the toddler wanted to bang on the window glass, like when she does while attending her brother's hockey games. Her grandfather, Salvatore Anello, lifted her up to the window pane, believing the windows were closed. Because Anello is color blind, he was unable to see that the window was open before he lost his grip on the toddler, the lawsuit claims.

Warning signs posted about the open windows could have prevented the toddler's death, the family's lawsuit contends.

According to the motion filed by Royal Caribbean Cruises,security video shows Anello was aware the window was open before holding his granddaughter up to it. Included in the court filing were a series of still images, including one photo that shows Anello leaning out the window.

"When he arrives at the open window, and while Chloe is on the floor, Mr. Anello leans his upper-torso over the wooden railing and out of the window frame for approximately eight seconds," the cruise line's court motion says. "Because Mr. Anello had himself leaned out the window, he was well aware that the window is open."

Anello has also been charged with negligent homicide in the death of his granddaughter.

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