Royal Caribbean was cleared of wrongdoing over the 2019 death of a toddler who fell from a cruise ship's 11th floor

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FILE - This May 11, 2006 file photo shows the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship docked in Bayonne, N.J. An attorney for an Indiana family whose 18-month-old daughter fell to her death in July from the cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico says the negligent homicide charges her grandfather now faces "are pouring salt" on the family's wounds. A judge in Puerto Rico ordered the arrest of Salvatore Anello on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, after prosecutors submitted evidence saying that Chloe Wiegand fell from Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas cruise ship when Anello raised her up to an open window. (AP Photo/Mike Derer, File)
The Freedom of the Seas cruise ship, where Chloe Wiegand died. Associated Press
  • Chloe Wiegand fell from a Royal Caribbean ship's 11th deck in 2019 after her grandfather held her up.

  • Her parents sued the cruise line, saying the company should have warned about the open window.

  • A judge said the grandfather should have known he was holding Chloe to an open window.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Royal Caribbean has been cleared of wrongdoing in the 2019 falling death of toddler Chloe Wiegand, court documents show.

US District Court Judge Donald Graham of the Southern District of Florida threw out the lawsuit filed by Wiegand's parents on Tuesday before it could go to trial in Florida.

Wiegand was just 18 months old when her grandfather, Salvatore Anello, held her up to an 11th-deck window on the Freedom of Seas crew ship and she fell to her death.

Anello was sentenced to three years probation in February after pleading guilty to negligent homicide in his granddaughter's death.

Salvatore Anello Chloe Wiegand
A still of surveillance footage shared in the lawsuit shows Salvatore Anello holding up his granddaughter to the open window before she fell. United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

In his Tuesday decision, Graham argued that Anello was to blame for the toddler's death, not the cruise line.

Chloe's parents, Alan and Kimberly Wiegand, sued Royal Caribbean in 2019, saying the company's poorly-designed windows and lack of warning notices were responsible for the fall.

Anello previously told "CBS This Morning" that his colorblindness prevented him from telling that he was holding his granddaughter up to an open window, rather than a pane of glass.

But security footage shared in the case showed Anello poking his head out of the window before lifting Chloe up to the open air.

"This court finds that a reasonable person through ordinary use of his senses would have known of the dangers associated with Mr. Anello's conduct. Accordingly, the defendant owed no duty to warn of it," the judge wrote.

Michael Winkelman, an attorney for Chloe Wiegand's parents, told Insider that they planned to appeal.

"The family is surprised and deeply saddened by the court's ruling. This is a matter that should be decided by a jury, and we are confident and hopeful the appellate court will agree," Winkleman told the outlet.

"We will be filing the appeal shortly and we will continue to fight and raise awareness about the dangers of unintentional toddler window falls. This case was always about Chloe and shining a light on her brief but beautiful life."

Royal Caribbean did not immediately return Insider's request for comment.

Read the judge's decision here:

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