“Unlimited damages”: Parents of toddler who fell to her death on cruise ship proceed with lawsuit
Royal Caribbean have failed to stop a multi-million dollar negligence suit that’s brought on by the parents of a toddler who fell 11 decks to her death, according to The Daily Mail.
Royal Caribbean’s lawyers argued there was no case as Chloe Wiegand’s grandfather, Salvatore ‘Sam’ Anello, was solely to blame for dropping the girl onto the deck.
However, US District Judge Donald L Graham denied Royal Caribbean’s motion to dismiss on Wednesday, ruling that the parents can proceed with their complaint.
Alan and Kimberly Wiegand could claim “unlimited damages” for pain and mental suffering if their suit succeeds.
However, the heartbroken couple say that their sole motivation is to force the cruise ship line to make their windows safer so that their daughter’s death is never repeated.
The couple’s suit say that there were no signs or notices to warn Anello that the “wall of glass” around a child’s splash fool featured windows that could be opened by passengers.
The suit also said that despite the ship’s windows having handles and a blue-green tint, that was useless to Anello as he is colourblind.
In its motion to dismiss, Royal Caribbean denied breaching industry safety standards, saying that Anello “unquestionably” knew that the window was open and would only have to had used his “basic senses” to realise he was putting his grandchild in danger.
“His actions, which no reasonable person could have foreseen, were reckless and irresponsible and the sole reason why Chloe is no longer with her parents,” the motion stated.
Judge Graham determined in a seven-page ruling that the Wiegands’ suit had presented a factual and plausible case at face value. He also denied the motion to dismiss, explaining that Royal Caribbean had woven images and statements into their filing that “catapulted” the case into the discovery stage.
Prosecutors in the US territory are still pressing charges against Anello, despite Chloe’s parents wanting them to stop.
“We have never wanted charges filed against Sam because we know with all of our hearts that he would never put Chloe in harm's way,” they said last week, in a statement provided exclusively to DailyMail.com.
“We will stand with Sam as long as it takes - but we cannot grieve as a family until the criminal charges are dropped.”
Photo credits: NBC
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