Published: Mon, January 20, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Royal Caribbean says Grandfather knew window was open when he dropped toddler

Royal Caribbean says Grandfather knew window was open when he dropped toddler

The cruise line, however, said that surveillance video showed Anello leaning out the window for several seconds before picking up Chloe and holding her out the window, according to the report.

The family of Chloe Wiegand, the 18-month-old IN girl who fell to her death from the 11th storey of a cruise ship IN Puerto Rico, supplied this photo of the scene inside the Freedom of the Seas.

In a motion to dismiss the suit filed January 8 and obtained by PEOPLE, Royal Caribbean, citing a closed-circuit video taken of the accident, claimed Anello knew the window was open.

The family filed the lawsuit last month in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida, saying the cruise line failed to protect Chloe by not installing a warning sign or safety devices on the open window.

Royal Caribbean is seeking to have a lawsuit over the death of an 18-month-old girl dismissed, instead blaming the toddler's grandfather for the girl's fatal fall out of a ship's 11th-floor window.

In its filing, the company says that Anello, of Valparaiso, Indiana, was "reckless and irresponsible" in his granddaughter's fall from the open window on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas ship.

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Royal Caribbean studied footage from two separate cameras, which has subsequently been leaked to a Puerto Rican television station, and says the clips disprove Anello's claim that he didn't know the window was open. Further, the photographs included in the Complaint also show the middle glass panes contain a handle to allow the operable windows to be slid open.

Royal Caribbean calls Anello's actions "irresponsible and reckless" in the new court documents.

While the motion's still awaiting a response from the Wiegands' side and a subsequent ruling, this is an evidentiary cannon shot at Anello's claim that he lost his grip on Chloe when she threw herself at a window he thought was closed and should've been closed. Anello's been charged with negligent homicide in Puerto Rico, where the Freedom of the Seas was docked when Chloe fell 11 stories to the dock. 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.

In the first photo (Photo 1), the filing states, Anello is in the red circle on the left and Chloe is in the red circle on the right, heading for the open window. "Had Royal Caribbean simply abided by industry standards for window safety, created to protect toddlers, this tragedy would not have occurred".

"Royal Caribbean has premised its defence 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", lawyer Jacqueline Garcel told the outlet in a statement. I was told that this could be a reason why it happened, "he said, referring to the condition of the eyesight". In short, Royal Caribbean's Motion to Dismiss is baseless and deceptive.

"The death of Chloe Wiegand is undeniably a heartbreaking tragedy that has prompted a criminal prosecution of Chloe's step-grandfather and a civil lawsuit brought by the Wiegand family attorneys".

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