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Thread: Grandfather didn't dangle baby (Chloe Wiegand, 18mo) from cruise ship window. This is not the 'Michael Jackson story,' says family attorney

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    Grandfather didn't dangle baby (Chloe Wiegand, 18mo) from cruise ship window. This is not the 'Michael Jackson story,' says family attorney

    (CNN)This is not "like the Michael Jackson story, where he was dangling the child out the window," said the attorney for the family whose toddler fell to her death from a cruise ship window this weekend.

    The grandfather of 18-month old Chloe Wiegand didn't dangle and drop her -- she fell because an open glass pane should have been closed securely, said attorney Michael Winkleman at a news conference on Tuesday.

    Chloe fell to her death from deck 11 of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas, while it was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sunday, according to Jos? Carmona, a spokesman for the local Port Authority. Chloe is the child of South Bend Police Officer Alan Wiegand, according to the Indiana police department, and Kimberly Wiegand. Chloe had traveled to San Juan from the mainland with her parents, siblings and four grandparents.

    Winkleman said he was retained by the family on Monday to "set the record straight." As he describes it, the toddler's tragic death is unlike many of the original reports circling the internet.

    Chloe and her grandfather, Sam Anello, were "in the water park on the ship, which is designed for the kids -- kids are meant to be there," said Winkleman. "And there's a whole wall of windows. And the grandfather thought that this window was closed. It turns out, we've come to learn, that ... passengers can open these windows."

    "You have a wall of windows with one hidden hole," said Winkleman. Unknowingly, then, the grandfather places Chloe on the wood railing before the wall of windows, believing Chloe will bang on the glass just like she does at her brother's hockey games, "and the next thing he knows, she's gone," said the attorney.
    After speaking with the grandfather, who was "crying hysterically," Winkleman said he believes that this was a "preventable incident."

    No alcohol was involved, added Winkleman.
    "Kids falling out of windows is nothing new," he said. "There are federal laws and federal standards that are designed to specifically prevent against this -- things like using screens, things like using grids, things like limiting the amount that a window can open."

    Royal Caribbean Cruises said in a statement Monday that it does not plan to comment further on the incident out of respect for the family's privacy: "We are deeply saddened by yesterday's tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family. We've made our Care Team available to assist the family with any resources they need."
    CNN was reaching out Tuesday to Royal Caribbean and the Puerto Rico Ports Authority for comment on Winkleman's statements.

    Winkleman noted that the Freedom of the Seas ship, which made its maiden voyage in 2006, is older, and none of the newer ships have similar windows that can be opened in the same way.
    "I think Royal Caribbean needs to answer these questions: Why would you ever in a kid's play area put windows that passengers can open? I mean, we've all had that experience where someone walks into a glass sliding door thinking it's not there. This is the inverse of that. It was reasonable for Sam the grandfather to think that this was all glass because from his perspective it was all glass."

    Attorney Michael Winkleman said the death of Chloe Wiegand was a tragic accident that could have been prevented.

    Winkleman is hoping to gain access to the ship and to surveillance footage of the incident.
    "In my view in incidents like this, the video is always key," he said.
    Meanwhile, the family remains in Puerto Rico, waiting for the authorities to release the body of their daughter and for the police to conclude due diligence on the investigation, he said.
    Ultimately, the family does not want this incident to be "just about tragedy," said their attorney, who described Chloe as "a sweet, loving girl." Instead, the Wiegands are hoping to make sure something like this never happens to another family.

    "I do think that there is going to be blame and significant blame on the cruise line," said Winkleman. "I will do everything I can to hold them accountable for what appears to me to be negligence."




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    Save Bandit! Angiebla's Avatar
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    This is terrible. From what I gather it sounds like the cruise ships fault.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

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    Senior Member Queena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    This is terrible. From what I gather it sounds like the cruise ships fault.
    He sat the baby on a ledge. He's totally at fault, but it was a accident. I understand because I would probably try to sue too.
    I never shed a tear when confederates are mauled. Personal policy.
    animosity

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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    I saw pics and video of the ship. I am not sure how he couldn't have seen that the window was open-it looked totally different than the closed windows.

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    Senior Member marshmallow's Avatar
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    Grandpa put the child is a position of danger, it was not the cruise ship's fault. And an atty. who specializes in suing cruise ships is there only to "put the story straight" ? sure.
    Marshmallow here is the one I liken to Ed Gein... Originally Posted by Heartbroken1


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    I saw pics and video of the ship. I am not sure how he couldn't have seen that the window was open-it looked totally different than the closed windows.
    raisedbywolves

    After you pointed this out, I looked at the videos too. There's no way you couldn't have noticed. Yes, you need to closely watch a toddler. However, we don't know how the window got opened. An older kid could have opened it. I think the ship should have put windows that couldn't be opened in the kids play area.

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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    I certainly don't think it was intentional, but I think Grandpa wasn't really paying that much attention. I think the windows in this area shouldn't be openable, or should have been up so high that no one could fall through them. I definitely think Grandpa was negligent.

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    Save Bandit! Angiebla's Avatar
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    I change my stance. It sounds like it was negligence on the grandparents part. It’s still really sad, and I feel terrible for the family.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

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    Senior Member SuchAClassicGirl's Avatar
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    Apparently they were on GMA this morning with fingers pointed at the cruise line.

    https://news.yahoo.com/royal-caribbe...132435876.html

    Check out the comments on that article calling “bullshit.” First reports said he lost his grip. Now saying they didn’t realize that one window was open “in the play area,” and had propped her up on the railing to bang on the glass. Multiple comments point out that windows are heavily tinted green on the ship making it obvious if one was open as well as the fact there ARE no windows like that in the play area.

    Attorney hired. Story changed.
    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchAClassicGirl View Post
    Apparently they were on GMA this morning with fingers pointed at the cruise line.

    https://news.yahoo.com/royal-caribbe...132435876.html

    Check out the comments on that article calling “bullshit.” First reports said he lost his grip. Now saying they didn’t realize that one window was open “in the play area,” and had propped her up on the railing to bang on the glass. Multiple comments point out that windows are heavily tinted green on the ship making it obvious if one was open as well as the fact there ARE no windows like that in the play area.

    Attorney hired. Story changed.
    I read a few of the comments and I smell a whole lot of fishiness on the family's part.

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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    You are on video pretty much everywhere on a cruise ship. I guarantee you the cruise ship has video of what has happened.

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    Save Bandit! Angiebla's Avatar
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    Fuck I didn’t realize she fell on the cement. Jesus that must have been terrible to witness.

    This may be controversial, but I would never bring my kid on a cruise. Too much shit could happen. That being said, even if the window was closed, why would he put her on the railing and let her go!?! That makes no sense. I feel extremely bad for the parents, but they can’t actually believe it’s the cruise lines fault? They weren’t even there to see what happened. I don’t see them winning their case.
    Last edited by Angiebla; Yesterday at 01:03 PM.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

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    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Was grandad drinking? I don't see how else you could make a mistake like that? (& that goes for both versions)

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