In July, in our article “Indiana Toddler Dies after Suffering a Cruise Ship Injury” we told you the tragic cruise ship injury story of an 18-month old girl who fell from an open window while on board the Freedom of the Seas. This cruise ship fall case began in a children’s play area and has ended in ultimate tragedy.
Now, the family is pursuing a wrongful death claim against Royal Caribbean alleging that the windows are not compliant with safety standards for cruise ships. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that Royal Caribbean failed to:
- Provide reasonably safe children entertainment areas
- Adequately mark the open windows
- Install safety prevention devices on windows
The lawsuit seeks an undisclosed amount of damages, but compensation is not the family’s primary goal. The family wants to hold Royal Caribbean accountable so that safety improvements can be made. Kimberly Wiegand, the toddler’s mother states,
“If this lawsuit prevents another death, then it is worth it to us.”
Royal Caribbean has declined to comment about the lawsuit. The family and their attorney believe that Royal Caribbean played a “major role” in the toddlers death, and they hope to see some measure of justice for little Chloe.
Cruise Ship Fall Case Background
The Wiegand family embarked on a cruise in July 2019 with the hopes of fun and adventure. They could never imagine the sorrow that vacation would bring for their entire family.
While playing in a children’s water park area, Chloe Wiegand’s grandfather lifted her up on a railing to look out the window. As she leaned forward to knock on the glass – a favorite pastime – the toddler fell 150 feet to her death. No one knew that a window was open. Furthermore, no one expected windows in a children’s play area to be able to open.
Since July, the Wiegand family has gone through turmoil no family deserves. The grandfather continues to be the subject of a criminal investigation by Puerto Rican authorities. He has been charged with negligent homicide, which the Wiegand family says is completely unsubstantiated. The family is in full support of the charges being dropped, and believe that the pursuit of a misdemeanor offense only causes further stress on their family.
The Wiegand family stands firm in their belief that this cruise ship fall could have been prevented had Royal Caribbean had proper safety measures in place.