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Lawyer Explains Toddler's Fall From Cruise Ship Window

He says Royal Caribbean is at fault for Chloe Wiegand's death
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2019 1:52 PM CDT
This May 11, 2006 file photo shows the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship docked in Bayonne, NJ. Police in Puerto Rico say that on Sunday, July 7, 2019, a toddler apparently slipped from her grandfather's...   (AP Photo/Mike Derer, File)

(Newser) – A lawyer for the family of the 1-year-old girl who fell 11 stories to her death Sunday while aboard a docked cruise ship in Puerto Rico says the fault lies with Royal Caribbean, not the child's grandfather. Michael Winkleman says in a statement picked up by WSBT that Chloe Wiegand and Salvatore Anello were in the ship's kids water zone, and that Anello hoisted the 18-month-old onto a railing behind what he thought was a closed window. "Chloe wanted to bang on the glass like she always did at her older brother's hockey games. Her grandfather thought there was glass just like everywhere else, but there was not, and she was gone in an instant."

"Why in the world would you leave a window open in an entire glass wall full of windows in a kids area?" Winkleman told NBC News, calling it a "hidden danger" that should have featured a posted warning. Royal Caribbean offered its condolences but said in a statement that beyond confirming it was assisting the family, "out of respect for their privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident." The AP reports the family will remain in San Juan until the investigation is finished, and CBS News adds that Winkleman says he is waiting to see if surveillance footage is available. The family is from Indiana; Chloe is the daughter of South Bend Police Officer Alan Wiegand. (Read more Royal Caribbean stories.)

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