Cruise line claims grandfather leaned out window before toddler fell to death

6abc.com – Miami:

Royal Caribbean Cruises says an Indiana man charged with negligent homicide in his young granddaughter’s fatal fall from a cruise ship window leaned out of that window for several seconds before he lifted the child up to it and she fell.

18-month-old Chloe Wiegand was on a ship in July when the child’s grandfather, Salvatore Anello, placed her on a wood railing in front of a wall of glass windows, later saying he thought she’d bang on the glass — but the window was open. Puerto Rican prosecutors then charged Anello with negligent homicide.

In December, the family filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean for negligence, according to the lawsuit.

Chloe’s family, who lives in South Bend, Indiana, said the cruise line made it difficult for passengers to tell whether a window was open or closed on the ship.

The cruise line’s Jan. 8 court filing comes in response to a lawsuit brought by the parents of Chloe Wiegand accusing Royal Caribbean of negligence in her fatal plunge from the 11th floor window in July in Puerto Rico.

The company is seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed and says the Indiana girl’s grandfather, Salvatore Anello, was “reckless and irresponsible” in her death.

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