Attorney: Girl fell to death from open window on cruise ship

1-year-old Chloe Wiegand died after falling from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Puerto Rico.             
    Michael Winkleman

1-year-old Chloe Wiegand died after falling from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Puerto Rico. Michael Winkleman

Chloe Wiegand died after falling from the Freedom of the Seas ship onto a concrete dock in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sunday afternoon.

He doesn't believe the grandfather, who works for St. Joseph County, was negligent, and said the family is doing "terrible" in the aftermath of the little girl's death.

Instead, the toddler fell 11 stories to her death.

Chloe and Anello were in the boat's H2O Zone, an area of hot tubs, but mostly pools, water shooters and color schemes that beckon more to children.

"Why would you ever in a kids' play area put windows that passengers can open?"

According to witnesses, the toddler let out a "blood curdling" scream as she fell.

An exterior view of the window.

Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises called it a "tragic incident" and said it was helping the family.

"We've all seen where someone walks into glass thinking there's nothing there", Winkleman said. "For Sam, he's going to have to live with that memory for the rest of his life", said Winkleman. They were taken by Chloe's father after she had fallen.

"Why in the world would you leave a window open in an entire glass wall of windows in a kids' area", the family's attorney, Michael Winkleman, said Tuesday.

The Daily Mail posted the new image on July 9, showing the open window, investigators, police tape, and other people. "Clearly, he was wrong".

No alcohol was involved, added Winkleman.

Chloe Wiegand watching an ice hockey game.

"If they knew that there was a risk-I mean if this was the Michael Jackson story where Michael Jackson is hanging the baby out there-clearly the parents [are] negligent, no question about it", Winkleman said.

A spokesman for the law firm has since told that while there was a glass pane there, it had been left open.

The family's lawyer said there should have been a warning sign on the window.

When asked about the family claims of negligence, the cruise line would only say that it is assisting local authorities and has no further information to share.

Her distraught grandfather, right with her, had to be sedated after her tragic fall.

Winkleman said Chloe would always bang on the glass at her brother's hockey games.

The ship has since departed for a trip through the Caribbean while the girl's family remains in Puerto Rico amid an investigation.

"She was such a happy and loving child", he said.

Chloe Wiegand, 18 months, from South Bend, Ind., is pictured in an undated family photo.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean said on Monday that it was "deeply saddened" by the accident.

"We are saddened by the awful accident that took the life of Officer Wiegand's young daughter, and the city is holding this family in our hearts", Buttigieg said in a tweet Monday night.

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