Video proves cruise grandfather’s fatal mistake

 

Video presented in court shows the grandfather of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand pop his head out of a cruise-ship window and then dangle her over its ledge - contradicting his claim that he didn't know the window was open before she fell to her death, new papers allege.

The stunning video shows grandfather Salvatore Anello, clad in a dark shirt, put his head out the window for eight seconds before picking up Chloe in her white sunhat from the ground, according to court papers filed by Royal Caribbean in a bid to dismiss the Wiegand family's lawsuit over the tot's July death.

"When he arrives at the open window, and while Chloe is on the floor, Mr Anello leans his upper torso over the wooden railing and out of the window frame for approximately eight seconds," the papers say, according to WTHR.

"Because Mr Anello had himself leaned out the window, he was well aware that the window is open."

Royal Caribbean said the video showed Anello then lifting his granddaughter "over the wooden rail to the open window", holding her within danger's reach "for approximately 34 seconds at which time she unfortunately fell".

Chloe Wiegand was just 18 months old at the time of her death.
Chloe Wiegand was just 18 months old at the time of her death.

"The only reasonable conclusion from the video is that Mr Anello knew the window was open before picking up Chloe," the court papers say. "He nonetheless lifted the child over the wooden rail and the open window for a considerable period, recklessly endangering her life. There was no 'hidden danger' - Mr. Anello knew the window was open."

The tot's family has taken legal action against the cruise line, arguing the company failed to protect her and other vacationers from potentially dangerous open windows while the ship was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Mr Anello has repeatedly denied knowing the window was open - insisting he picked up Chloe so she could bang on the glass as she would at her older brother's hockey games.

A lawyer for the Wiegand family bashed the cruise line over the weekend for releasing the footage, claiming the video released from the fatal episode was "deceptive", WTHR reported.

"Royal Caribbean has premised its defence 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," lawyer Jacqueline Garcel told the outlet in a statement.

Ms Garcel said an inspection of the cruise ship on January 10 revealed there were 13 cameras in the area of the incident.

But he says he picked up Chloe so she could bang on the glass like she did at her brother’s hockey games.
But he says he picked up Chloe so she could bang on the glass like she did at her brother’s hockey games.

She argues the cruise line's latest motion "neglects to tell the court and, presumably, the authorities, that there were no less than 13 CCTV video cameras in the area of the incident".

"The Wiegands will ask the court to compel Royal Caribbean to produce all the video from those nearby cameras," the statement said.

Mr Anello also facing criminal charges in Puerto Rico, where prosecutors have charged him with negligent homicide in the tot's death.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

She fell from a window on Royal Caribbean cruise ship Freedom of the Seas. Picture: lawyer Michael Winkleman
She fell from a window on Royal Caribbean cruise ship Freedom of the Seas. Picture: lawyer Michael Winkleman


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