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Toddler Death Law Suit Update

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1 minute ago, caribbeanboy said:

Wasn't the granddad a police officer? aren't police officers trained to be extra vigilant? From day 1I said there was something fishy in this case.

Chloe's father is a police officer. Her mother is a lawyer.

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2 hours ago, brookmill18 said:

Makes me think of the difference between 2 other tragedies--one where a child had a near death drowning on DCL and one where a child was lost to an alligator at Disney. Within a day of those, both families said they were not seeking legal recourse and neither hired a lawyer. I'm guessing Disney handled things privately with them--esp the family of the boy who will need care the rest of his life--but none of this legal action. Maybe the fact that a family member was involved made them think they needed to get out ahead of things? No idea, but I can't believe it's good for the well being of the family.

 

There were the 2 boys on NCL, that the grandmother was watching but went to smoke, and the boys went in the pool. The 6 year old survived but I want to say he might have ended up with brain damage and the 4 year old did not make it. Also, another family member at fault.

 

Then another 2 siblings went into the pool on another NCL ship, same outcome: 1 made it and the other did not. Winkleman was also the lawyer that went after the cruise line claiming it was their fault for not having life guards.

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15 hours ago, S.A.M.J.R. said:

So does that mean families with toddlers shouldn't be allowed to book balcony cabins?  After all, those are open to the sea also.  That's one thing this family & lawyer are missing.  If you're going to make the argument that windows shouldn't be able to open because of the possibility of a similar tragedy, what do you do for balcony cabins?

 

I have wondered along the same lines. Every cruise ship I have been on has open decks, with just railings, no glass. The family has said they just want RC to "fix the ship." Fix what? Enclose every outdoor area/ deck/ balcony/ window??

 

In one CBS interview, the grandfather first said he was holding the child in a bear hug, with both arms around her. Just a moment later in that same interview, he said he was holding her with ONE arm, while reaching with the other arm to bang on the (nonexistent) glass. It would have taken him only half a second to realize there was no glass there, had it been true that he was trying to knock on it. As others have pointed out, his story just makes no sense, especially since he had ALREADY put his upper body out the window. 

 

I have also heard the grandfather and the attorney say that there should have been a sign saying not to go over the rail. "If there had just been a sign, I would never have held her over the rail" or something to that effect. I would argue that the railing itself IS YOUR SIGN. A railing is a universally understood signal of danger. It is understood in any language, in any country. If there is a railing -- on a staircase, a cruise ship, an elevated walkway, a mountain ledge -- that IS your sign that you should be cautious and there is danger on the other side!!!

 

Such a horror for everyone involved. My heart breaks for the entire family, including the grandfather who I think was just stupid, but did not do this deliberately, and who must be suffering immense guilt. But I agree with most others here that the cruise line is not at fault and I hope they do not settle.

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Even though we all can imagine the guilt the grandfather must feel, to sue the cruise is etiher  plain and simple greed or a try to shift the blame.

A terrible, terrible accident - one second of not taking propper care - one moment of not paying attention and a life gone- others changed for ever.

No money in the world can bring back the poor little girl. Whatever the courts decide it will never be an absolution for the grandfather.

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I agree with the sentiment of what you said...but it was not “one second of not taking proper care.”  He held her out over the railing for over 30 seconds.

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What I don't understand is why the grandfather did an interview, particularly whilst he is awaiting trial.  

This seems a bad move to me. Is this normal in the US or did the grandfather get really bad legal advice, about giving an interview?

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I deal with building codes every day.  

 

I don't have my references, so cannot give chapter and verse, but:

 

Residences are required to have railings protecting any drop of more than 30".  If a single family or duplex, the top of the railings must be 36" high, with no openings larger than 4" below the top rail.  In multi family dwellings, the railings in public spaces need to be 42" with the same limits for openings.  This is in accordance with the International Residential Code (IRC).

 

Non-residential properties are required to have 42" high railings with the same 4" limit on openings.  This is in accordance with the International Building Code (IBC).

 

The 4" gap/opening requirement is based on whether a 4" diameter ball can pass.  So a 2" x 8" opening is OK, but a 4.1" by 4.1" is not acceptable.

 

In the US, OSHA requires railing in General Industry to be 42" high with a mid rail and toe board (at floor level).  Pretty much the same for Construction Industry.

 

Above the railing, if it meets the required standards, there is no code on an opening.  Otherwise there would be no balconies or raised decks/patios.

 

I have only sailed on  Grandeur, but she is an older ship.  But the railing are closer to 48" high (I have not measured), with most having NO OPENINGS, or maybe some small ones, well under 2".

 

NO WAY do the ship board railings not comply with the codes used in the US for residences and work spaces.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Bloodgem said:

What I don't understand is why the grandfather did an interview, particularly whilst he is awaiting trial.  

This seems a bad move to me. Is this normal in the US or did the grandfather get really bad legal advice, about giving an interview?

 

Some people try to sway public opinion before the case.  The idea being, if everyone figures that the person did not do anything wrong, then there will be no trail.  Or, if there is a trial, the jurors will be biased towards acquittal.

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4 hours ago, helen haywood said:

I agree with the sentiment of what you said...but it was not “one second of not taking proper care.”  He held her out over the railing for over 30 seconds.

And of course the family or the lawyer didn't have time to read or adhere to this part of the passenger code of conduct which would have prevented their tragedy.

 

Unsafe Behavior

Sitting, standing, lying or climbing on, over or across any exterior or interior railings or other protective barriers ...............

 

But maybe the lawyer will say they didn't include "lifting over".

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8 hours ago, emdia43 said:

Chloe's father is a police officer. Her mother is a lawyer.


I could not find it on-line but for some reason my wife thought the GF was an officer as well. It does run in the family, but I couldn’t find it. 

 

13 hours ago, Brisbane41 said:

I think it will go to full case as well.


I think the only way will not is if the family retracts their case.  I don’t think they will. 

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3 hours ago, SRF said:

NO WAY do the ship board railings not comply with the codes used in the US for residences and work spaces.

I don't deal with US construction or OSHA codes, so I'm not sure of the exact requirements either, but the ships do not have to meet any US code.  The ships must meet SOLAS requirements, which are similar to what you mention, but here is what is in the US Code (the US law that enables the SOLAS requirements):

 

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/46/116.900

 

This is the only standard that the ship needs to meet, not any other "industry standard" that the lawyer claims would apply.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

I don't deal with US construction or OSHA codes, so I'm not sure of the exact requirements either, but the ships do not have to meet any US code.  The ships must meet SOLAS requirements, which are similar to what you mention, but here is what is in the US Code (the US law that enables the SOLAS requirements):

 

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/46/116.900

 

This is the only standard that the ship needs to meet, not any other "industry standard" that the lawyer claims would apply.

The fact the GF first looked out of the window then bent down and lifted the child up over the railing and held her outside the window totally absolves Royal of any blame.

Whatever the rules standards say someone doing what the GF did cannot be legislated for.

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So, just a thought... Mom a Lawyer Dad a police officer, Grandfather does a stupid thing, if he were not on a  boat , in a Hotel did this w baby, would they sue hotel,   Did this w baby in a two story home w a deck , same outcome, would they sue the home owner,  I am starting to , and I hate myself, get annoyed w the family for a not needed ligation action,   RCI did not coerce, force, encourage , propel cause the action of GF,  there is no way I could be a judge nor juror for it .  It would be like bringing suit against RCI for buying the unlimited drink package, drinking too much falling down getting injured and bring suit for the injury... The direct actions of the MAN caused this ....how are 2 somewhat seemly logical people... the parents.. brining their suit...I know there is no logic at this time,  but if the circumstance  were  in my life, and thank god it is not... this would be the last thingI would  be engaged in..  I would  need drugs and therapy to not want to scream continually at GF.  Not at RCI

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In the very beginning, on the only thread that was not immediately removed (NCL), it was suggested that GF initially stated to PR police that he had lost his grip on Chloe.  Then the mother, with her legal background, realized that there would be legal consequences in PR for the GF and that is when the store changed to become Royal’s fault.  

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1 hour ago, grapau27 said:

The fact the GF first looked out of the window then bent down and lifted the child up over the railing and held her outside the window totally absolves Royal of any blame.

Whatever the rules standards say someone doing what the GF did cannot be legislated for.

This is absolutely correct, but their suit is that RCI was negligent in the design of the window.  As long as the applicable standards are met, there can be no negligence in the design.  Now, if they wanted to sue the IMO for negligence in the SOLAS regulations, that would be a different ball game.

 

Actually, what the grandfather did has been legislated for, it is the definition of negligent homicide, i.e. if a "reasonable person" would think the act was dangerous or negligent, then the person doing the act is responsible for the death.

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Whenever I see or read anything about this case, all I can think of is:  the grandfather has been punished enough...or how can you punish him more? He has lost is precious granddaughter and has to live with this every second of every day! One would think that through his constant grief and shock, he may not be thinking straight. One would also wonder if the family is regretting their legal action. Perhaps it's just being human to want to blame someone or something else. It was a TERRIBLE accident and my heart goes out to their family.

 

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6 minutes ago, ptf2009 said:

It was a TERRIBLE accident 

 

It was NOT an accident.  It was a negligent mishap.

 

An accident would be GF was holding GD, walking to the window, and stumbled, causing GF to lose grip and GD fell out the window.

 

It was negligence since GF intentionally held GD over the railing near (or out) the window in violation of the passenger code of conduct (and common sense).

Edited by Another_Critic

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4 minutes ago, ptf2009 said:

Whenever I see or read anything about this case, all I can think of is:  the grandfather has been punished enough...or how can you punish him more? He has lost is precious granddaughter and has to live with this every second of every day! One would think that through his constant grief and shock, he may not be thinking straight. One would also wonder if the family is regretting their legal action. Perhaps it's just being human to want to blame someone or something else. It was a TERRIBLE accident and my heart goes out to their family.

 

Re: GF

He has been adamant in his innocence and according to articles, isn't willing to even consider a plea bargain (that would in theory limit his punishment).  And yes, while he's not thinking straight, wouldn't that be what the lawyer, family, and friends are there for?  Maybe everyone is suggesting to him that he take the plea deal and he keeps saying "no".  Then he deserves whatever punishment is handed down IMO.  

 

Re: Parents

If they're regretting their legal action, they should be able to stop the lawsuit.  Even if the lawyer balks, they could always fire him.  

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2 minutes ago, Another_Critic said:

 

It was NOT an accident.  It was a negligent mishap.

 

An accident would be GF was holding GD, walking to the window, and stumbled, causing GF to lose grip and GD fell out the window.

 

It was negligence since GF intentionally held GD over the railing near (or out) the window in violation of the passenger code of conduct (and common sense).

According to Dictionary.com, the definition of accident is

an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.

 

Was this unfortunate?  Yes.

Was it unexpected?  Yes*

Was it unintentional?  Yes*

Did it result in damage or injury?  Yes

 

Pretty much meets the definition.  *Unless you want to believe (as some have suggested) that it was planned.  I don't. 

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28 minutes ago, S.A.M.J.R. said:

According to Dictionary.com, the definition of accident is

an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.

 

Was this unfortunate?  Yes.

Was it unexpected?  Yes*

Was it unintentional?  Yes*

Did it result in damage or injury?  Yes

 

Pretty much meets the definition.  *Unless you want to believe (as some have suggested) that it was planned.  I don't. 

Is it an accident?  Yes.  Is it negligent? I don't think a "reasonable person" would think of holding a child out an 11th story window, so Yes.  So, the grandfather's negligent actions led to the accident, and under the law he can be held accountable for his actions.  Just as the parents want RCI held responsible for "negligence" in the design of the ship, the law says that the grandfather can be held responsible for his negligence.

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The grandfather may believe he is innocent because he has mentally blocked out what actually happened.

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