Royal Caribbean: Grandfather 'reckless' in toddler death: report

The cruise line is asking a federal court to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by the girl's family

The grandfather of a toddler who fell to her death from a cruise ship window was "reckless and irresponsible," the cruise line said as it asked a federal court to dismiss a civil lawsuit.

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Royal Caribbean blamed the grandfather, Salvatore Anello, for the death of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand last summer, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Photo of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand in the Freedom of the Seas' H2O Zone. (Photo provided in lawsuit)

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The cruise line made the accusation in court records filed in response to a lawsuit from the Indiana family. The family's lawsuit alleged the cruise line neglected to warn passengers that windows in the play area where Chloe fell could open.

The cruise line, however, said that surveillance video showed Anello leaning out the window for several seconds before picking up Chloe and holding her out the window, according to the report.

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Photograph showing distance between the wooden railing and the window, which was open at the time of Chloe Wiegand's death (lawsuit)

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Anello "held her by and out of the open window for thirty-four seconds before he lost his grip and dropped Chloe out of the window," the court documents state.

An attorney for the family told the Star that the cruise line "did not implement industry standards for toddler safety aboard its ships."

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In a statement to FOX Business, Royal Caribbean said, “The death of Chloe Wieband is undeniably a heartbreaking tragedy that has prompted a criminal prosecution of Chloe’s step-grandfather and a civil lawsuit brought by the Wiegand family attorneys. Our position in the matter is outlined in our Motion to Dismiss, which we were legally mandated to do in response to the civil complaint.”

In a separate criminal case, Anello is facing a charge of negligent homicide in Chloe's death.

The family was aboard the Freedom of the Seas, which was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when Chloe fell 150 feet from the ship to the pier.

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