GUILTY IN - Grandfather charged in cruise ship death of toddler Chloe Wiegand #9 *NO JAIL*

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by IceIce9, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. mheido67

    mheido67 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    2,462
    Trophy Points:
    93
    "I feel angry at Royal Caribbean because it is clear that these windows never should have been allowed to have been opened in the first place," Anello continued. "You can't go into a single hotel or building anywhere in the United States where windows this high up would be allowed to be opened more than a few inches. Yet on this cruise ship, Royal Caribbean allowed this window to be opened by anyone, at any time, right next to a kid's water park."

    The above is part of SA's statement after receiving his sentence. Extremely misleading. There are many reasons why modern hotel windows do not open that have nothing to do with preventing kids from falling out of them. But yes, limiting the liability of the hotel should some fool fall out the window, or throw something out the window and harm someone else is among them. But deck 11 of Freddom of the Seas is not a hotel room. It is largely an open air sun deck. SA might be really horrified if he went one deck higher up to deck 12 and saw that there is simply a 4 foot tall railing with no glass preventing anyone from dropping something, or someone, overboard. I wonder if the Wiegand's had a balcony room on the ship? Because if so they would have had a hotel room with an operable window! How can this be allowed? What's to keep people from dumping children over the 4 foot balcony railing? ( Full disclosure: when we cruised with our small children we never booked a balcony room out of an abundancy of caution. We also accompanied them into the water any time they went into the pool.)

    The facts here are clear. SA lifted CW up more than 4 feet above the safety of the ships deck, swung her body over the wood and metal safety railing which is meant to keep people a safe distance away from the windows, and recklessly held her in front of an open window before losing his grip on her. The judge was correct to rule that RCCL had no expectation to foresee such a reckless and irresponsible act and therefore has no liability. Now, since this tragedy has occurred and RCCL is now on notice that such stupidity exists, should they take a remedial step like placing stickers which say "operable window - window may be open" on the sills below the operable windows like the one CW fell through? I'd say yes, they should.
     
    al66pine, TRB, Montrealaise and 14 others like this.


  2. mheido67

    mheido67 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    2,462
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Found the text of the judgement online. Not sure what rules are about posting links here but this is one important bit.

    "Mr. Anello also testified that he first lifted Case 1:19-cv-25100-DLG Document 233 Entered on FLSD Docket 07/13/2021 Page 13 of 15 14 the Decedent and placed her feet on the wooden handrailing (ECF No. 134-5 at 160). He states that he then reached his hand out to touch the window but did not feel any glass (ECF No. 134-5 at 160). Despite not feeling any glass in front of him, and without confirming that the window was closed, Mr. Anello lifted the Decedent beyond the wooden handrailing and extended her body closer to the window opening (ECF No. 134-5 at 160), exposing her to the open window and the dock beneath where she ultimately fell to her death."

    SA admitted he reached out to touch the glass and felt NOTHING. And he then proceeded to extend her out towards NOTHING. Because that's what a reasonable person would do?
     
  3. neesaki

    neesaki Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,924
    Likes Received:
    25,092
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Same here. We had the best vacations with our son while he was growing up. Disneyworld, beaches, snow skiing, backpacking, camping & hiking. But we were always very diligent in keeping an eye on him, it was just part of it. And am so thankful nothing bad ever happened. Gosh, I miss those good times... such cherished memories.
    I do realize sometimes things happen outside of our control, but in this instance the adults failed this baby, IMO. Then made things much worse by blaming the cruise ship.

    ETA: Now our little fur boy back then, a different story. Saw fish in the stream and jumped right in (he hated water) . Ran off at the campground and we frantically searched for him for two hours..... that little bugger. ;)
     
    al66pine, TRB, Montrealaise and 9 others like this.
  4. neesaki

    neesaki Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,924
    Likes Received:
    25,092
    Trophy Points:
    113
    DBM
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
    sassyblue likes this.
  5. Marysmith

    Marysmith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    718
    Likes Received:
    4,431
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Just MOO but I find SA such an unpleasant human. You couldn’t have apologized at your sentencing?! You’re going to blame someone else when you did something so honestly ridiculous and totally unsafe? No common sense and no responsibility for doing something really nonsensical.
    And sorry but I find allowing children to bang on glass besides super annoying also unsafe. I would never allow my child to do that - and I am by no means a perfect parent.
     
    CalmSeas, al66pine, TRB and 19 others like this.
  6. borndem

    borndem Anglophile & registered demwit

    Messages:
    15,373
    Likes Received:
    29,826
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Exactly - DH and I have done that -- we were fortunate to have great parents/grandparents!
    And now we're the grandparents!! And we're helping out this weekend!

    Anyone can get in a jam/in danger in a second -- especially kids.
     
  7. borndem

    borndem Anglophile & registered demwit

    Messages:
    15,373
    Likes Received:
    29,826
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Maybe RCCL should put some type of warning, etc., but it's difficult to fix stupid. (Please pardon, if it's offensive)
     
  8. mheido67

    mheido67 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    2,462
    Trophy Points:
    93
    It is indeed difficult to fix stupid. And ambulance chasing lawyers like MW rely on that for their livelihood.

    But from RCCL's and their responsible passengers' point of view a small sticker on a window is better than inoperable windows on a pool deck. IMO anyway.
     
  9. they'll get you

    they'll get you CHRIS. P. BACON

    Messages:
    13,117
    Likes Received:
    40,567
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Then some idiot will say they couldn't see the sign because of colour blindness or a language problem. Morons will find any excuse.
     
    al66pine, TRB, Montrealaise and 7 others like this.
  10. drama_farmer

    drama_farmer Central Kentucky (Bluegrass)

    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    9,887
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I agree that a small sticker is reasonable. I also agree that it's not "the" answer, for a few of the following reasons, most of which have become evident to me due to life/professional experience.

    -- A small sticker enlarges exponentially when translated into several languages, not to mention applicable disability laws. Braille, large type, universal icons, warning logos, etc. I can't imagine the confusion of laws that govern cruise ships making the process any simpler.

    -- If certain windows are labeled to alert people to the possibility that they are designed to function as standard windows (i.e. they open and close), shouldn't ALL windows also be labeled?

    Otherwise, an argument can be made (in lawsuits, or just by those who like to argue, lol) that unlabeled operational windows present a risk to those who depend on labels to inform them of "hidden dangers" lurking between an interior and exterior space.

    -- In the same way folks become desensitized to visual clutter over time, they become "sign-blind." I have no links to support it, but I know that people tend to tune-out messages and warnings if they are numerous and ever present.

    There's lots more arguments for and against, but the above points were top of mind at the moment.

    MOO
     
  11. mheido67

    mheido67 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    2,462
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I appreciate your points and I’m not a lawyer but a few comments;

    -Cruise ships are not subject to US disability laws. [Edit: My understanding is they’re not legally bound but most do try to meet the standards where applicable.]

    -RCCL now has clear notification that this type of incident can happen. If they take zero action and it happens again it would be more likely they could be found liable. The judge in this case was clear that due notification of a hazard via previous incidents needs to relate directly to the same type and circumstances. He dismissed plaintiffs offering in this regard because they involved falls or warnings but they did not match the circumstances in this case. The defense of SA is that he assumed all the glass was there and fixed in place. He was not anticipating that some of the areas would have no glass. His ‘guard was down’ as MW said. If RCCL does nothing and a similar incident happens and the person makes the same argument RCCL is screwed. So a sticker which identifies the operable sections and simply states that the window may be open seems a reasonable accommodation to avoid this. It could simply be placed on the metal sill directly below the opening. Not very obtrusive.

    -Labelling some windows and not others also would be defensible. Again, SA’s claim is that he had no reason to assume that the glass could or would be operable. Given the fact that it is basically an entire wall of glass that’s not unreasonable for someone unfamiliar with the ship. This is not true of, say, a sliding balcony door in a cabin. No one would assume that glass with a balcony on the other side is fixed in place and could not be opened. Plaintiff’s claim was that the windows on deck 11 presented a hidden danger for the above reasons. The judge ruled that a reasonable person in the circumstances SA found himself in should have known the window was open just by using his senses. Tint/no tint, breeze and sound. Plus he testified that he reached out and felt no glass but still proceeded to hold her forward.

    It just seems like a sensible step for RCCL to take to avoid both future tragedies and future liability.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  12. mickey2942

    mickey2942 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,640
    Likes Received:
    88,103
    Trophy Points:
    113
    RCCL already has warnings all over the ship about not going past the safety rail all around the edge of the ship. The fact that SA picked a child up, and over, past the safety rail is an issue.

    At what point are people supposed to have any common sense? I purchased a coffee the other day, with a warning label on it, "Caution: Hot coffee". Seriously?!
     
    al66pine, TRB, Montrealaise and 7 others like this.
  13. Kittybunny

    Kittybunny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    10,717
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Let's also not forget that SA has a track record of being reckless, evidenced by his many citations for refusing to wear a seatbelt. So safety? Not a priority at all for him apparently. Rules? Don't apply. Even had RCCL had a warning on the window, he likely would have ignored it.
     
    al66pine, TRB, Montrealaise and 12 others like this.
  14. mheido67

    mheido67 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    2,462
    Trophy Points:
    93
    We live in a litigious society. There's always blame to be distributed and damages to be collected. Drive around NYC and you will see innumerable billboards offering law services for all types of personal injuries. Businesses need to cover themselves as best they can, be it from someone burning themselves with coffee or falling out a window.

    Did you enjoy your coffee? Would you have enjoyed it more if it hadn't had the warning on it? Probably not, right? RCCL is not getting good legal advice if they take zero steps to remediate what could result in a future damage claim. A warning sticker on a window sill certainly wouldn't reduce my enjoyment of a cruise. MOO.
     
  15. La Louve

    La Louve For Whitney and Teghan

    Messages:
    2,445
    Likes Received:
    3,909
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Do I remember correctly that SA is stepfather to Chloe's mother?

    I just keep imagining the family dynamics that would lead to where we are at today. By any rights, Chloe's parents should be as outraged as we are by SA's lack of care, and kicked him to the curb. But that doesn't seem to be what this family has done and I wonder why. I try to imagine the complex range of emotions I would be faced with working through, if this was my grandchild that lost her life through an act of stupidity and carelessness, and if it was my husband who performed that act.

    Just attempting to make sense of how this family arrived at the conclusion that blaming the cruise line was the best way to deal with this tragedy.

    One of my beliefs in life is that deep down inside, we all know the truth. The contortions we as humans go through to avoid the truth are truly astounding.

    Rest in Peace Baby Chloe. You deserved better.
    :rose:
     
    Kittybunny, al66pine, TRB and 10 others like this.
  16. Marysmith

    Marysmith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    718
    Likes Received:
    4,431
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I have wondered that too. Personally I would have a very hard time being cordial to a family member who was so reckless let alone wanting to spend time with them. Obviously we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and since Chloe’s parents admitted they haven’t watched the video they are just relying on SA’s narrative.
     
    Kittybunny, TRB, Montrealaise and 7 others like this.
  17. mheido67

    mheido67 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    2,462
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Not a lawyer nor a psychologist either but seems clear that the parents are using RCCL as a proxy for their anger which they are resistant to direct at SA. It's easier to blame a stranger or a faceless corporation than a beloved family member.

    That being said, he ain't blood and if he dropped my child out a window to her death I'd never want to see his godforsaken face again for the rest of my life.
     
  18. Arkay

    Arkay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    4,616
    Trophy Points:
    93
    If I recall correctly, wasn't McDonald's sued years ago because an elderly woman bought coffee at a drive-through, placed it on her lap or something, was burned and then sued? After that, companies started to put warnings on for extremely obviously foolish things, since someone somewhere might actually do it?
    IMO although it would help RC going forward, the type of person who is oblivious to danger, like SA, would ignore the warnings anyway. No responsible adult would ever lift a child up to and through a window. If she liked to bang on the glass at the hockey rink, SA should have let her bang from floor level at his feet. Or not. They're on a ship, I would take ZERO chances with my child and now grandchildren like that, never ever.
     
  19. mickey2942

    mickey2942 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,640
    Likes Received:
    88,103
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It is interesting that the parents state that they have not viewed any of the video footage from RCCL prior to their daughter's death.

    Then, how can they continue to unequivocally support SA? If they refuse to view the evidence that supports the dismissal of their case against RCCL?

    Granted, RCCL, should now have stickers on every window on every single ship, "Do not dangle child out open window". The problem is that the window was open, so how should this have been marked?

    SA could not identify an open window, from a closed window? That is the crux of the problem.
     
  20. Arkay

    Arkay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    4,616
    Trophy Points:
    93
    [QUOTE="mickey2942, post: 16951336, member: 165018]
    Granted, RCCL, should now have stickers on every window on every single ship, "Do not dangle child out open window". The problem is that the window was open, so how should this have been marked?

    SA could not identify an open window, from a closed window? That is the crux of the problem.[/QUOTE]

    As you said earlier, @mickey2942, adults are expected to exercise some common sense. If God forbid something like this ever happened again, some crafty lawyer somewhere would say, "oh the sign says not to dangle the child. But my client did not dangle the child. My client hoisted the child and there was no warning about that." Or launched, or pushed, or dropped, or shoved, or lifted, or hung, or swung etc.

    Everything hinges on children being left with responsible adults who exercise caution and judiciously watch over their children/grandchildren, or any other child in their care. There would have to be signs everywhere for everything in every instance where a child could be hurt if an adult is not paying attention, or stubbornly figures that they know what they're doing in a situation that could expose a child to danger.

    Here in NYC there are crosswalks with "walk"and "don't walk" signals, but there are no signs in the middle of the block saying "caution: don't let your child run through the traffic as death or disfigurement may result."
    Some things just have to be assumed, and it's a parent's job to know the character of anyone watching their child.

    I believe it was a complete accident, not intentional, but a stupid man who had previously shown irresponsibility was entrusted with Chloe's care. We all break thinking of her end.
     
    Area52, Kittybunny, al66pine and 8 others like this.

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice