As Mamas Uncut reported at length, in 2019 on July 7, while the Wiegand family was enjoying a family vacation aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, tragedy struck when 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand fell 11-stories through an open window in the children’s play area. At the time, the ship was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Prior to Wiegand’s fatal fall, she was with her grandfather Salvator “Sam” Anello, who was holding her up to the window. Anello claimed he didn’t know the window was open when his granddaughter slipped out of his hands as she tried to tap on the window with her own.
In February, Anello was sentenced to three years probation. However, his family doesn’t hold him accountable for Chloe’s death. They believe their daughter’s passing was the result of negligence by Royal Caribbean. Alan Wiegand and Kimberly Schultz Wiegand sued the cruise line for failing to “adequately mark the open windows,” ”install safety prevention devices,” and more.
Royal Caribbean Cleared of Wrongdoing in the Death of 18-Month-Old Chloe Wiegand
In his explanation for finding Royal Caribbean cleared of wrongdoing, U.S. District Judge Donald Graham wrote that “Mr. Anello reached out in front of him and felt no glass in the window opening before extending the Decedent out to the window opening.”
“A reasonable person through ordinary use of his senses would have known of the dangers associated with Mr. Anello’s conduct. Accordingly, the defendant owed no duty to warn of it. The true risk-creating danger here was Mr. Anello lifting a child up to an open window. The Plaintiffs have provided no evidence showing the Defendant was on notice of that danger.”
While talking with Wiegand’s family lawyer, Michael Winkelman told the Daily Mail that the family plans to appeal that decision. “The family is surprised and deeply saddened by the court’s ruling. This is a matter that should be decided by a jury, and we are confident and hopeful the appellate court will agree.”
Winkelman further shared that they will “continue to fight and raise awareness about the dangers of unintentional toddler window falls.”
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