Nearly six months ago, an 18-month-old girl fell out of her grandfather’s arms and out of a cruise ship window. The 150-foot fall resulted in her death. The toddler’s family has now filed a lawsuit with a Florida court claiming that the cruise line is responsible for her death because the windows on the vessel were not compliant with established safety standards for cruise ships. Among the allegations are that the cruise line failed to install safety devices on windows, failed to adequately mark the open windows and failed to provide reasonably safe entertainment areas for children to play.
The cruise ship had traveled to Puerto Rico when the accident took place. The child was in the care of her grandfather after her mother left to attend to another matter. From a children’s water park area on the 11th deck, the toddler reportedly wandered over to a nearby wall of windows as her grandfather followed.
Accustomed to banging on the glass at her brother’s hockey games, the toddler asked her grandfather to pick her up and hold her close to the windows. He obliged, holding her onto the railing in front of a window that he believed to be solid glass.
However, not all the window panes consisted of fixed glass. The grandfather unwittingly placed the toddler before a pane that was open. It is not known who opened the window pane, but everyone, including other passengers, had access to it. The grandfather claims that he could not tell that the window was open because the wooden railing kept him at too great a distance and there were no warning signs indicating that the window may be open. Therefore, when the toddler leaned forward to bang on the glass, she toppled out of her grandfather’s arms and through the open window, falling 11 stories.
Authorities in Puerto Rico have charged the grandfather with negligent homicide. However, the child’s parents maintain that the cruise line is to blame for not adhering to fall prevention codes, claiming that the accident was preventable. Those who have suffered an injury or a loss of this nature on a cruise ship may wish to consult with an attorney.