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Toddler Death Law Suit Update

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On 1/25/2020 at 1:27 PM, vidmanpk said:

I'm a little late to this discussion so please forgive me if I go over items previously discussed.  I'm writing this because I'm sick and tired of the media allowing itself to be used to drag Royal Caribbean through the mud.  I work in legal support with lawyers though I am not a lawyer.  These are my observations and opinions based on years of both cruising and working with attorneys.

 

First off, I sailed Freedom of the Seas out of Puerto Rico exactly 7 weeks after the incident.  The first thing I did upon boarding was go to deck 11 to see where this incident took place.  I dragged my reluctant girlfriend along to see what she would opine.  Within two minutes of arriving she turned to me and stated that there is no way that this was an accident.  There are four things that become evident when you see the location.  1) The windows are tinted quite a bit.  The open window is easily identifiable simply by viewing.  Even if you're colorblind as the GF claims, you can easily tell the difference between the dark squares of glass and the open window.  2) There is a noticible breeze and sound coming through the window.  Actually, that's why the window is open, to keep the somewhat sheltered area from overheating and you can hear the sound of the city and dock below.  3) The guard rail is situated back from the window a significant distance (even the Wiegand family’s attorney, Michael Winkleman claims it's 18 inches), enough where a child of 18 months would fall between it and the window if the child was placed on the rail.  4} There is no sill or lip where you could sit or stand a child against the window.  If you're not sitting the child on the rail there is no place else to sit or stand the child.

 

While I was at the scene of the incident I leaned out the open window (I did not know the GF did this as the videos had not been released).  I'm 5'8" and could look down the side of the ship to the dock below.  As the father of four I came to the chilling conclusion that this incident was no accident.  

 

It's my opinion that Michael Winkleman and the Wigends are attempting to slander Royal Caribbean only to extort money through a nuisance lawsuit.  I support Royal Caribbean and hope they continue to fight this egregious assault on their reputation.

Good synopsis - I agree with your points.  

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On 1/24/2020 at 10:48 PM, Germancruiser said:

That lawyer of the good Granpa is just plain greedy- there so a lot of money it for him- if the family wins that case. Which I don´t think they will- every court should dismiss this law suit without hesitation.

 

agree

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I may get flamed for saying this, but part of me almost wants to start a go fund me to support RCI’s legal fees.  While anything that is raised would pale in comparison to the minimum $300/hr legal fees they are incurring (although this may be covered by some degree of insurance), it is more to send a message to NOT settle. 

At some point businesses have to fight back against superfluous lawsuits.   A company I worked for was once involved in a lawsuit that the plaintiff was suing for 56 million in damages after they had already received 5 million from another lawsuit related to the same instance, because the other portion had settled. The lawsuit lasted over 7 years, eventually clearing my company.  They refused to settle because they believed they were right, in which ultimately they were cleared.  7 years of legal fees was no small amount of cash, but ultimately if you don’t fight back at some point it becomes open season on businesses.


If RCI can’t win this where does it end??   No business is safe.  We basically need to eliminate windows that open.  Pad sidewalks with cushions.  Eliminate balconies.   Make sure all food is cut in small enough portions to prevent choking.  Whet will it end if this goes through?

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6 minutes ago, rimmit said:

I may get flamed for saying this, but part of me almost wants to start a go fund me to support RCI’s legal fees.  While anything that is raised would pale in comparison to the minimum $300/hr legal fees they are incurring (although this may be covered by some degree of insurance), it is more to send a message to NOT settle. 

At some point businesses have to fight back against superfluous lawsuits.   A company I worked for was once involved in a lawsuit that the plaintiff was suing for 56 million in damages after they had already received 5 million from another lawsuit related to the same instance, because the other portion had settled. The lawsuit lasted over 7 years, eventually clearing my company.  They refused to settle because they believed they were right, in which ultimately they were cleared.  7 years of legal fees was no small amount of cash, but ultimately if you don’t fight back at some point it becomes open season on businesses.


If RCI can’t win this where does it end??   No business is safe.  We basically need to eliminate windows that open.  Pad sidewalks with cushions.  Eliminate balconies.   Make sure all food is cut in small enough portions to prevent choking.  Whet will it end if this goes through?

Exactly.  Every single balcony can be a hazard to people who don't watch their children.  A toddler could climb on a chair and reach the top of a balcony.  Where does it end?  Some people don't want to be accountable for their own actions.  This man's actions were worse because he placed the child in danger.  

Edited by TNcruising02

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12 minutes ago, rimmit said:

I may get flamed for saying this, but part of me almost wants to start a go fund me to support RCI’s legal fees.  While anything that is raised would pale in comparison to the minimum $300/hr legal fees they are incurring (although this may be covered by some degree of insurance), it is more to send a message to NOT settle. 

 

RCCL (the corporate owner of RCI) most likely has a legal team on payroll (or at least on retainer).  They don't look in the yellow pages when they need legal advice.

Edited by Another_Critic

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10 minutes ago, Another_Critic said:

 

RCCL (the corporate owner of RCI) most likely has a legal team on payroll (or at least on retainer).  They don't look in the yellow pages when they need legal advice.


I figured they had some degree of a retainer,  but wasn’t sure if that would include something of this magnitude and not just contracts, or other more mundane legal issues.  

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Tn- Cruising I don´t think you will get flammed for you statement- which is written with great common sense and I agree totaly. In other- I admit harsh words- you - the grandpa is responsible for the child falling out of the window due to his recless action and is now about to  sue the cruise line for it! That action as reduced all feelings of regret  for the man to zero.

Mother always told me - think before open your clap trap! Very wise words.

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1 hour ago, Another_Critic said:

 

RCCL (the corporate owner of RCI) most likely has a legal team on payroll (or at least on retainer).  They don't look in the yellow pages when they need legal advice.

Even though major corporations have legal teams, they will often bring in outside counsel for major cases. If so figure costs in the $1000+ range per billable hour per attorney working on the case. Pretty easy to get bills in the millions very quickly in major corporate cases.

 

It is rather obvious that the families attorney is trying to win not by having a good case, but by trying to create a public relations crisis for RCL by making all sorts of claims in the media. Hoping that the PR pressure will get them to get it out of the news by settling the case. 

 

 

Edited by npcl

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So , for me , this is like 9/11. I grieve every year, I don’t want to keep thinking about it, but I can not stop, this has similar emotional distress,,,  innocent  baby, her Mother , her Father,  endless horror that will never end,  just keep thinking what if parents were at her side instead of GF... but I can’t stop reading ..... there is no good end , baby will never come back ...

Edited by nadinenurse1

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I keep seeing in different forums that GF refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, is there any official statement to confirm that?

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2 hours ago, TNcruising02 said:

Exactly.  Every single balcony can be a hazard to people who don't watch their children.  A toddler could climb on a chair and reach the top of a balcony.  Where does it end?  Some people don't want to be accountable for their own actions.  This man's actions were worse because he placed the child in danger.  

 

2 hours ago, rimmit said:

I may get flamed for saying this, but part of me almost wants to start a go fund me to support RCI’s legal fees.  While anything that is raised would pale in comparison to the minimum $300/hr legal fees they are incurring (although this may be covered by some degree of insurance), it is more to send a message to NOT settle. 

 

You're joking right? A multibillion dollar international company and you want to start a go fund me to help them with legal fees??

I'm sure they have a whole slew of high priced lawyers working for them full time.

If you want to start a go fund me account, how about starting one for the family so they can bury their little angel?

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12 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

If you want to start a go fund me account, how about starting one for the family so they can bury their little angel?


Pretty sure that the $22K+ that they already raised was MORE than sufficient to bury that poor child last year.

 

Edited by brillohead

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2 hours ago, grandgeezer said:

If you want to start a go fund me account, how about starting one for the family so they can bury their little angel?

 

Forgive what might sound like a stupid question, but are lawyers and police offices in the US that poorly paid that they can not afford to bury their own child or can not afford insurance for their cruise (which might have covered some of Chloe's funeral costs)?

 

Btw I have no idea what the cost of living is in the US ( it's been awhile since I was last in the US)  so please don't flame me for what might seem an insensitive question

 

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Oh dear- i am quite quite sure- the poster mentioning a fund raiser - was not LITERALLY speaking. He wanted to underline that it IS NOT THE FAULT OF RCI that the poor darling died on the pier! IMO there is no way to shift the blame from granpa- as bitter and hard as it is! Instead of silently come to terms with his guilt- if that goal ever can be achieved, he starts this sueing nonsense! One has to ask oneself- does he need the publicty to cope with his fault and his los.

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4 hours ago, grandgeezer said:

 

You're joking right? A multibillion dollar international company and you want to start a go fund me to help them with legal fees??

I'm sure they have a whole slew of high priced lawyers working for them full time.

If you want to start a go fund me account, how about starting one for the family so they can bury their little angel?


As i stated in my post,  the purpose was not so much as to assist in fee payment, but to let RCI know that the general public is on their side and that we believe they shouldn’t settle. We could email Michael Bayley, it’s mbayley@rccl.com I think.  But actions speak louder than words.  And nothing is louder than money to a business.  

Edited by rimmit

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18 hours ago, TNcruising02 said:

It really doesn’t matter if he held her up for 5 seconds or 30 or if she was at the railing or window. He held her in an unsafe position and caused her death. The video footage just incriminates him more and proves he knew exactly what he was doing. He knowingly held her in an unsafe position. 
 

His excuses about being color blind and not knowing the window was open are simply excuses. 

There are forensic tests available to determine if someone is actually colour blind. Has this man ever driven a car before and how does he go at traffic lights. There are tests to find out if people are faking colour blindness. He should be tested. You would think that a colour blind person at his age would be more careful around glass or touch it to make sure first. Personally I do not believe he is colour blind.

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Forget color blind ,once u stand in front of those windows as others has posted the smell, the breeze you could practically be blind and deaf and know the window is open,  I know we are all speculating, ,...when is the actual court phase taking place will it be televised ?

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I believe the GF is due back in court today for the next step in the criminal trial.  I doubt it will be televised.  Although I wonder if/when the criminal trial actually begins if it will be on TV.

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No one should ever place a child on a railing... ever... not on a ship, not on your patio... no where.... If you look at the gap between the window and the railing.. even if closed the child could fall between them or the child could have fallen backward and hit its head on the floor... that too could have killed the child. There is no way Royal can fix stupid or careless. Perhaps they need to add something to the contract that states.. no sitting of standing on railing...  This story is very sad, parents are still in denial ... 

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6 hours ago, brillohead said:


Pretty sure that the $22K+ that they already raised was MORE than sufficient to bury that poor child last year.

 

That’s all they raised? There was a fire in my small town last week killing a mother and child, $25,000 was raised by day 2 (and the tumor is she was a drug addict who started the fire). A proper wake, funeral and burial costs about $14,000 here, not including the repast (which would be for a lot of people for someone so young).

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2 hours ago, rimmit said:


As i stated in my post,  the purpose was not so much as to assist in fee payment, but to let RCI know that the general public is on their side and that we believe they shouldn’t settle. We could email Michael Bayley, it’s mbayley@rccl.com I think.  But actions speak louder than words.  And nothing is louder than money to a business.  

RCI does not need a go fund me account, they will just raise the rates a little to pay for the lawyers- we all will pay for their council.  I'm sure they will love help, if you really want to do that.

 

I'm also confused why people are so concerned about RCI''s image- consider this- if they end up looking bad, that means less passengers, right?  And even in the face of having to pay the legal council, they will have to lower rates to fill cabin.  Win for passengers.

 

As for corporations- there does need to be mechanisms for when they do wrong, too- they are not all angels.  Remember, back in the 90's, RCI got in a lot of trouble dumping sludge where they should not have been dumping it- which causes a lot of harm to the environment.

 

In this case, I really don't see much real evidence that RCI will pay a dime to the family- when you have to go out of your way to put a child in a window, it's almost impossible to lay any real fault with the ship.  There's also no evidence of chronic safety problems on ships that are anywhere near what happened here- all of the people that have gone overboard did it with some kind of help- either on their own or by someone else.  Children have not been falling out of ships, which is what would be happening if this was an actual, chronic problem with the design.

 

In the end, courts will decide.  Puerto Rico seems to have a pretty solid case to punish the GF, and the family seems to not have any real evidence that it's anyone other's fault than the GF.

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4 hours ago, Bloodgem said:

 

Forgive what might sound like a stupid question, but are lawyers and police offices in the US that poorly paid that they can not afford to bury their own child or can not afford insurance for their cruise (which might have covered some of Chloe's funeral costs)?

 

Btw I have no idea what the cost of living is in the US ( it's been awhile since I was last in the US)  so please don't flame me for what might seem an insensitive question

 


Not necessarily “that poorly paid” but not everyone gets travel insurance - my family never does - and not everyone, regardless of pay scale, has $10k-$15k just lying around. We have a child rider on my life insurance policy that would basically cover burial costs (so we don’t have to tap into savings) but, again, that’s not necessarily the norm. 
 

Covering burial expenses is an act of goodwill, whether it’s done by a corporation or through a GFM. 

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I will say that I was in Puerto Rico about an hour before this terrible accident happened.  We had gone for a walk along the OSJ side heading towards the Pan American pier where Freedom was docked.  We went as far as we could, but we were still very close to the ship although on the other side of the water.  It was a hot and VERY breezy day.  There was absolutely no way that the GF did not know that the window was not open.  

FOS.jpg

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16 minutes ago, alfaeric said:

RCI does not need a go fund me account, they will just raise the rates a little to pay for the lawyers- we all will pay for their council.  I'm sure they will love help, if you really want to do that.

 

I'm also confused why people are so concerned about RCI''s image- consider this- if they end up looking bad, that means less passengers, right?  And even in the face of having to pay the legal council, they will have to lower rates to fill cabin.  Win for passengers.


I am well aware they do not need public help to pay for legal fees.  It was to emphasize to them to not settle.

 

I don’t think people are as concerned about RCI’s image.  They are more concerned over the GF potentially making millions over his stupidity.  


More over for me, I have a more selfish motive.  This case has the potential, and history will decide this, of being a landmark legal case.   If the plaintiffs do win, then it is open season on businesses as they are now not only legally required to provide basic safety standards, but they are now required to go above and beyond and protect people from a lack of common sense.  I work in a field where lawsuits are plentiful.  Many are justified many are just hoping for a quick buck.  If they succeed there is no protection for businesses anywhere.  If you are business of any kind, then you should be paying close attention to this case as it can potentially set a legal precedent on a a historical level.

 

It’s not about RCI’s public image.  It’s about the GF making millions by accidentally killing a child and the legal precedent it sets for the future.

Edited by rimmit

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