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PUERTO RICO — Royal Caribbean says Chloe Weigand’s step-grandfather knew the glass window was open before he picked her up and she fell 11 stories and died. 

After her death in July 2019, Weigand’s family filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean, saying the open window was a hidden danger. Salvatore “Sam” Anello has said he was not aware that the window was open. 

However, the cruise line company says Anello, did, in fact, know the window was open, and they have proof. 

Still photos from surveillance video show Anello leaning his body over a railing and out the window frame. Moments later, he picked up his 18-month-old step-granddaughter and leaned her up against the opening before losing his grip. 

Court documents say, “This is not a case of an unknowing child approaching an open window and falling out because the window was defective or improperly positioned. Rather, this is a case about an adult man, Chloe’s step-grandfather who, as surveillance footage unquestionably confirms: (1) walked up to a window he was aware was open; (2) leaned his upper body out the window for several seconds; (3) reached down and picked up Chloe; and (4) then held her by and out of the open window for thirty-four seconds before he lost his grip and dropped Chloe out of the window.”

Royal Caribbean is requesting the lawsuit be dismissed, and cites Puerto Rico’s charge that Anello is guilty of negligent homicide, and that the toddler’s injury was “caused by Mr. Anello’s irresponsible and reckless act of holding Chloe out of a window he knew to be open.”

(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)