Parents of Toddler Who Fell to Her Death File Lawsuit Against Royal Carribean
The parents of toddler Chloe Wiegand have filed a lawsuit against Royal Carribean Cruises after their daughter fell through an open window to her death. The lawsuit is complicated by the fact that the girl’s grandfather was the one who placed her on the window ledge in the children’s play area. The lawsuit states that all of the other windows in the area were closed leading her grandfather to conclude that the window was also closed.
Chloe’s grandfather was later charged with negligent homicide by Puerto Rican police prompting more outcry from the family. The grandfather insists that he’s colorblind and did not know that the window was open when he placed Chloe on the ledge.
The family maintains that the grandfather only placed Chloe on the ledge because she enjoyed banging on the glass at her brother’s hockey games.
Analyzing the Lawsuit Against Royal Carribean
This is a difficult one. Regardless of what happens with the criminal case against the grandfather, filing a civil action against Royal Carribean will force a jury to decide who was at fault for the accident. The family maintains that the cruise line did not maintain a reasonably safe environment for children. All of the other windows were shut and it was a very long fall to the deck from that spot.
Royal Carribean will say that they could not have foreseen that a colorblind grandfather wouldn’t have known that the window was open. In this case, foreseeability is important because this essentially is a premises liability lawsuit. The family is arguing that the premises were unreasonably dangerous and this is what led to their daughter’s death. In other words, Royal Carribean will blame the grandfather for placing his granddaughter on the ledge.
If the family pursues this wrongful death lawsuit against Royal Carribean, the jury may come back with a verdict that places the majority of the blame on the grandfather and a small amount of the blame on Royal Carribean. On the other hand, they may come back with a verdict that splits the blame 50/50. In either case, the family’s damages would be reduced by the amount of blame that the grandfather is given. The question then becomes: Is it worth putting the family and grandfather through another potentially traumatic experience?
The family is likely to be awarded total damages in the range of $1 million. But the grandfather will be assigned some (if not most) of the blame. This will reduce their total damages. An unsympathetic jury may assign the grandfather 99% of the blame reducing the family’s damages to $10,000. At that point, would it really be worth it to go after Royal Carribean?
Talk to a Jacksonville Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you’ve lost a family member to someone else’s negligence, the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Gillette Law can file a lawsuit on your behalf and hold the negligent party responsible. Talk to us today to schedule a free consultation.