The Accident That Resulted in the Death of a Toddler Aboard a Cruise Ship
Ever since it was first reported that 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand tragically fell to her death aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship, the information surrounding the case continues to get more interesting.
The girl’s grandfather has been charged with negligent homicide after placing Chloe on the ledge of an open window. The grandfather claims that he believed that the window in the children’s play area was closed. All the other windows in the area were closed and Royal Caribbean appears to have an internal policy that requires all windows be closed when the child’s play area is open. So it appears to be that they didn’t follow their own policy.
This encouraged the family to file a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean, but the cruise line fought back, releasing video that appeared to show the grandfather leaning through the window. The family maintains that video shows nothing of importance and is a deceptive and cynical attempt to pin the blame on the grieving grandfather.
The question still remains, however, why did he place his granddaughter on the ledge of an open window?
The grandfather says that he placed Chloe on the ledge because she liked to bang on the glass at her brother’s hockey games. He claims that he didn’t know that the window was opened, thinking it was closed along with all the other windows. Chloe’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Royal Caribbean who, in turn, claims that they’ve done nothing wrong. Now, the grandfather faces negligent homicide charges in Puerto Rico for his role in his granddaughter’s death.
Now, the grandfather has announced that he will plead guilty to the charge of negligent homicide, likely with a deal that ensures that he will not spend any time in prison. He would only serve probation in his home state of Indiana.
Attorneys for the Wiegand family say that the grandfather’s plea deal should not affect their lawsuit against the cruise line which was filed in Florida. Why wouldn’t it?
The grandfather, in all likelihood, will be assigned some of the blame by a jury. Nonetheless, the family and their attorneys are banking the hope that Royal Caribbean will also be assigned some of the blame. Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that even if the grandfather is assigned 99% of the blame, they can still file a lawsuit against the cruise line. However, their damages would be reduced by 99%.
Here in Texas, this lawsuit would likely not be filed. Plaintiffs need to show that they are less responsible for an accident than the person they are attempting to sue.
Talk to a Houston Cruise Ship Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured aboard a cruise ship, the Houston maritime accident attorneys at Livingston & Flowers can help you file a claim to recover damages for any injuries you sustain. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin preparing your case immediately.