The parents of an 18-month-old Indiana girl who fell to her death from an open window of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico accused the cruise line of “creating a false narrative” by blaming the child’s grandfather for her fall. The parents of Chloe Weigand claim it was “physically impossible” for the child’s grandfather, Salvatore Anello, to lean out of the 11th floor window just before the toddler slipped from his hands in July 2019. The parents also accuse Royal Caribbean Cruises of releasing deceptive surveillance images from only two of 13 cameras in the area where the girl fell about 150 feet to her death, according to their preliminary response filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Miami. The Weigand family claims Royal Caribbean lied in its recent motion seeking the dismissal of the family’s lawsuit, which accuses the cruise line of negligence in the child’s death by keeping the window open in the ship’s children’s play area.
The cruise line said in its Jan. 8 filing that Anello, 51, leaned out of the open window for about eight seconds before he lifted his granddaughter up, which caused her to fall from the ship. He was charged last year in Puerto Rico with negligent homicide in the toddler’s death. The family’s attorney and others reportedly inspected, measured, and photographed the site of Chloe’s fall on Jan. 10, the Weigand family said.