• Grandfather thought glass was behind railing where toddler fell from ship

    By: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    The family of a toddler who plummeted from the 11th floor of a cruise ship has hired a lawyer.

    Chloe Rae Margaret Wiegand fell Sunday from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, attorney Michael Winkleman told NBC News.

    Winkleman said the family was in a glass-enclosed area on deck 11. Chloe's grandfather picked up the girl and put her on a railing the attorney said. The grandfather thought there was glass behind it, NBC News reported.

    NBC News reported the family called it a play area.

    CNN reported the area was a dining hall with large windows, one of which was open.

    Port Authority spokesman José Carmona told CNN the grandfather sat Chloe in the window and lost his balance. 

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    However, her family, according to the attorney, thinks the 18-month-old tried to bang on the glass as she did at her brother's hockey game.

    "Essentially her grandfather lifts her up and puts her on a railing and where he thinks that there is glass there because it's clear, but it turns out there was no glass there," Winkleman told NBC News. "She goes to bang on the glass like she would have at one of those hockey rinks, and the next thing you know, she's gone."

    Alan Wiegand and Kimberly Wiegand now want to know why there was an open window in the glass paneling. 

    "Why in the world would you leave a window open in an entire glass wall full of windows in a kid's area," Winkleman asked on behalf of the family. 

    Winkleman also told CNN he will make sure to hold Royal Caribbean "accountable for what appears to me to be negligence."

    Puerto Rican police made the preliminary determination Chloe's death was an accident, CNN reported, but they are continuing their investigation. However, CBS News reported, police could file negligence charges against the grandfather.

     


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