Royal Caribbean was recently hit with a wrongful death lawsuit months after a toddler fell from a window on a docked ship and died.
A Granger family filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean earlier this week, months after their one-year-old daughter fell “from her grandfather’s arms through an open window on a cruise ship in July.” The lawsuit accuses the cruise ship company of the wrongful death of Chloe Wiegand. When commenting on the family’s decision to sue, Kim Wiegand, Chloe’s mother, said:
“It’s a very difficult day for our family. Our daughter Chloe died in July. Her second birthday would have been this Friday, Dec. 13. We should be celebrating with a present and birthday cake; instead, we’re here, talking about her death.”
Included in the lawsuit is surveillance camera footage that was taken during the three hours Chloe and her family were on a docked Royal Caribbean ship in Puerto Rico on Deck 11. Since the incident, Royal Caribbean has called Chloe’s death nothing more than a freak accident, something the family strongly disagrees with. In fact, the lawsuit cites the “Consumer Product Safety Commission in saying that eight children under the age of 5 die each year from window falls.” Additionally, the lawsuit notes that “window fall safety regulations were released in the year 2000 and that the ship in question did not comply with those regulations.”
While discussing the lawsuit, Michael Winkleman, the attorney representing the Wiegand family, said:
“You see that in the complaint with the photos from the Carnival ship showing that those windows do not open in a similar area, you see it on the NCL ship, which has the slats that only open 4 inches, which a child could not pass through, and you even see it on the newer ships on the Royal Caribbean fleet that have windows in a similar area that do not open…The goal of the family is that the filing of this case raises awareness about the danger to children. It’s been about five months now since this terrible tragedy occurred. If even one child has been saved or taken out of harm’s way because of it, it’s a win. The other side of it is, is the hope that Royal Caribbean does something to fix these windows. I know this ship is supposed to go into refurbishment shortly. Fix it, fix it, change the windows, put a warning, do something.”
Kim Wiegand added:
“Royal Caribbean played a major role in the death of our child. There is no reason for this ship to have walls of glass surrounding the 11th floor with portions that open. If that condition did not exist, Chloe would still be here. We believe that filing a lawsuit against the cruise line sends a message to them that they were wrong.”