Following the death of the 18-month-old toddler, who fell from a window of the Freedom of the Seas ship of Royal Caribbean last summer, the cruise line is putting the blame on the grandfather of the child.
The company is now claiming that Salvatore Anello is the one who dropped his granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand, and they have video footage to prove it.
The incident happened when Anello was taking care of his little granddaughter, and at one point, he lifted her to see through the window of the ship that he claimed that he wrongfully thought to be closed.
Unfortunately, the little girl slipped through his fingers and fell 11 stories to her death.
After what the horrific incident, the Wiegand/Anello family placed the blame on Royal Caribbean because, according to them, the cruise line did not provide the necessary protection for vacationers in dangerous areas of the ship.
As a response, a spokesman for the company claimed that the actions of the man were reckless, irresponsible, and they were the sole reason why Chloe is no longer with her parents.
The devastated grandfather defended himself by stating that he thought the window was closed when he lifted Chloe to it, and he only did it so she could put her hand on the glass, as she used to do when they watched hockey games.
However, representatives from Royal Caribbean insist that Anello did not just lift Chloe to the window, but allegedly held her outside for a while, as could be seen from the security cameras in the place.
Following the release of the video from the cruise line, the lawyer of the family reacted by asking for a review of the recorded security footage and are demanding to see clips from 13 more cameras that filmed the accident.
The Wiegand family’s attorney, Michael Winkleman, said in a statement that read: “It is clear that Royal Caribbean’s tactic is to blame Chloe’s grandfather rather than to accept that Royal Caribbean did not implement industry standards for toddler safety aboard its ships which ultimately led to Chloe’s tragic death.”
Winkleman went on to explain: “Royal Caribbean has premised its defense in this case and its blame on Chloe’s grandfather by supplying two deceptive views from its CCTV cameras to the court and the Puerto Rico authorities.”
Many people who initially sided with the grandfather have now changed their minds and have taken to social media to share their thoughts:
One comment said: “I call BS😮 color blind doesn’t mean you don’t see a window open. Are there signs of dementia? Why did they sue the company?!! U need to get the grandad that’s not their fault that he was stupid. RIP angel 💗.”
This person had this to say after seeing the horrific footage: “What a stupid F! I actually felt bad for this old man when I first heard about this case. Not after seeing this video, 😡 he should be charged negligent homicide.”
A more nuanced voice explained: “I feel for her parents. It probably took every fiber in them not to blame the grandfather, and now they have too. It’s become clear that it’s his fault. Losing a child is bad enough, but to now have to hate a parent. 🙏🏾Leave the poor guy alone. He and his family have been through enough.”
Authorities in Puerto Rico say they do not know who released the video but it backs their negligent case against the granddad.
Some people, however, believe that it was heartless to inflict more pain to the family.