2 Yr Old Falls from Deck 11 on Royal Caribbean Ship

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jen7233

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2005
I don't think he said "children's play area". I think he said where children play. He's twisting it to fit his agenda.
One of the articles I read said this, in a children's play area. However, the pool area could be considered a children's play area. To me children's area would be the Adventure Ocean area or a kid's splash pad, however, that's what was said play area in the Today article. It could be the location doesn't matter in any event, if they state why was there an open window. I don't know how grandpa didn't see it not open but obviously plausible from the circumstances listed in the article on the attorney statement. Tragic. As far as the deck cams, they do have them, possibly secured for the litigation.
 

pixiedustedme

Planning is half the fun
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
I don't really get when parents who accidentally leave their child in a hot car are charged either - it's so obviously a terrible, devastating mistake they would never make 99.9999% of the time, and if part of the criminal justice system is in deterrence and punishment, arguably both goals are reached by the consequence alone.
I disagree with this. For one thing, you're assuming that every parent and grandparent deeply loves the child the way you love your own children. Unfortunately, in life that is not always the case. There are parents out there who beat their children, parents who passively allow their children to be abused, parents who don't make much effort to provide for their children's physical and emotional needs, parents who are rigidly conditional with their love, parents who put their addictions before their children, etc. So it's premature to assume that negligently causing the death of a child family member is something that automatically carries its own devastating punishment in every case.

Legally, negligence can be criminal, and a parent leaving a child in a hot car is criminal negligence and should be punished accordingly. I once heard a judge talk about a case in which a father left his little children in a hot car while he went off and got drunk. The children died a torturous death, pulling their own hair out from the pain. That's what death in a hot car is like: torture, and anyone resonsible for that should be punished, whether they're sorry or not. Just the same way as a drunk driver should be punished for killing innocent people on the road. Of course they feel guilty, but they should still be punished. For one thing, the criminalization of negligence can act as deterrence for others, for another, it gives the authorities the right to step into a negligent situation and stop it from progressing further. For another, it is a reminder that the victim's life had great importance and worth.
 
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Dug720

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
As I see it, the only way this is RCCL's fault is if a cast member dropped the child themselves or a window at floor level was broken open and not blocked off. It doesn't seem that either is the case. How many passengers have sailed the Freedom class ships? How many of them have fallen out a window? It's not a design issue, it was an error in judgment with the most tragic consequences.
Radiance Class has the same type of windows on the pool deck. So that just increases the number of people who have successfully cruised without “falling” out.
 
  • Lynne G

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2009
    And this is why I do not like attorneys that take any case. From pictures, it looks like venting windows that can be clearly seen, and that ship is not new, and I can bet, that venting with open windows up that high, is not unusual either, and finally, there has been so many that have gone past it, looked out it, and no one has fell out of it, that I can remember hearing about.

    When my kids were young, and we cruised, we had a balcony. I was super aware of them when on the balcony, and we never picked them up to see better no matter where on the ship.

    I feel so sorry, and have sympathy for the family and see this as a very awful accident.
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    One of the articles I read said this, in a children's play area. However, the pool area could be considered a children's play area. To me children's area would be the Adventure Ocean area or a kid's splash pad, however, that's what was said play area in the Today article. It could be the location doesn't matter in any event, if they state why was there an open window. I don't know how grandpa didn't see it not open but obviously plausible from the circumstances listed in the article on the attorney statement. Tragic. As far as the deck cams, they do have them, possibly secured for the litigation.
    Those windows are designed to open or close based on conditions. Without the ability to open them - and it is VERY obvious when they are open - the enclosed areas would have no air circulation and be miserable. If they did not have the windows, it would be open deck with rails like the rest of the pool deck and other open decks. As I and others have said, this design is on all the Freedom and Radiance Class ships without incident.
     

    olafLover

    DIS Veteran
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    Jun 28, 2017
    The news report states the lawyer said she liked to bang the glass, as she was used to do at her brothers ice hockey games. The granddad lifted her to bang the glass. I find it really hard to believe you wouldn't notice the window being open, but the statement says this was the only one open and the grandfather didn't notice
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
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    Feb 16, 2012
    The news report states the lawyer said she liked to bang the glass, as she was used to do at her brothers ice hockey games. The granddad lifted her to bang the glass. I find it really hard to believe you wouldn't notice the window being open, but the statement says this was the only one open and the grandfather didn't notice
    Given the tinting on the windows, that would be a challenge to not notice a complete color - and clarity - difference.

    Plus, banging on glass at any level, but especially that high up is never a good idea. Even if the window was closed, one tap in the wrong place and it’s shattering.
     
  • pixiedustedme

    Planning is half the fun
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2019
    And this is why I do not like attorneys that take any case.
    Meh. I'm sure their case isn't going to go anywhere, given the factors that have been discussed here. They're still grieving and looking for a scapegoat without having to blame their own, which is incorrect, but human and understandable. Lawyers exist to represent people, so it isn't wrong for them to take a case. It's the judge who decides the validity of the case, not the lawyer.
     

    Lynne G

    DIS Veteran
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    Mar 29, 2009
    Oh, Pixie, I agree with that, it just that taking a case just because is not always what I see is the right thing to do. But that's just my view, YVMV.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    SO surprised that there is already a lawyer involved, trying to blame the cruise line. 🙄

    Picking up the baby "so she could bang on the glass" just makes it even worse. Why encourage/indulge that kind of behavior? Ugh. It's never a good idea to let kids bang on windows, regardless of what they are made of. I bet it annoys the people at the hockey rink too...

    I also cannot fathom NOT noticing that there isn't a windowpane. I have accidentally walked INTO a glass door because it was so clean I didn't see it, and my son was 2 when he once face planted into a glass floor to ceiling window for the same reason, but can't imagine the opposite happening. This man must have had vision issues to not notice that the glass was missing.

    I really hope the cruise line has video footage of this incident, considering all the conflicting stories coming out.
     
  • Dug720

    DIS Veteran
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    Feb 16, 2012
    SO surprised that there is already a lawyer involved, trying to blame the cruise line. 🙄

    Picking up the baby "so she could bang on the glass" just makes it even worse. Why encourage/indulge that kind of behavior? Ugh. It's never a good idea to let kids bang on windows, regardless of what they are made of. I bet it annoys the people at the hockey rink too...

    I also cannot fathom NOT noticing that there isn't a windowpane. I have accidentally walked INTO a glass door because it was so clean I didn't see it, and my son was 2 when he once face planted into a glass floor to ceiling window for the same reason, but can't imagine the opposite happening. This man must have had vision issues to not notice that the glass was missing.

    I really hope the cruise line has video footage of this incident, considering all the conflicting stories coming out.
    Agreed.

    I went through my pics from Jewel of the Seas - a Radiance Class ship which has the same type of windows - to see if I had any that showed them open and closed. I found one. I put a red arrow to the open window and black arrows to the closed ones. The difference is not HUGE but it is there - ESPECIALLY with the one where the window was pushed back.

    415768

    Edit to add - note this was taken from across the deck. It is even more obvious when you are right there - the difference in shading between window and no window I mean.
     
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    pixiedustedme

    Planning is half the fun
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2019
    Oh, Pixie, I agree with that, it just that taking a case just because is not always what I see is the right thing to do. But that's just my view, YVMV.
    Yes, I get that. I'll just add that the cruise line also employs attorneys, and those attorneys will represent the cruise line in any case that comes up, whether it was the cruise line's fault or not. But I wouldn't look down on those lawyers for doing their job by representing the cruise line, even in a case (unlike this one) where the cruise line was negligent. Their job is to represent the client, not judge the merits of a case, and that's true on both sides.

    I respect your right to have a different opinion, though.
     

    lucyddr

    Working Mom of twins!
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2007
    I was just speaking to my Dad about this. He and my Mom cruise 3-6 weeks a year, on many lines. He was saying that the Princess ship they were on last week in Alaska had huge plexiglass "windows" around the highest deck railings. These completely ruined the views of the glaciers, but they were placed because people didn't have the common sense to stay OFF the railings for these experiences.

    He feels that issues like this will force cruise lines to obstruct essentially all railings over time, thus ruining the entire cruise experience of sea breezes and open views. How sad for the millions who don't do stupid things!

    I was heartbroken for this family, but since they have decided not to accept the blame for the child's death, I feel less so. Shifting the blame seems wildly inappropriate to me. Open windows, open railings, open balconies....all part of cruising. Don't climb or hang babies over them and things are fine. Royal Caribbean is not at fault here.
     

    Karin1984

    DIS Veteran
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    Feb 5, 2012
    I was just speaking to my Dad about this. He and my Mom cruise 3-6 weeks a year, on many lines. He was saying that the Princess ship they were on last week in Alaska had huge plexiglass "windows" around the highest deck railings. These completely ruined the views of the glaciers, but they were placed because people didn't have the common sense to stay OFF the railings for these experiences.

    He feels that issues like this will force cruise lines to obstruct essentially all railings over time, thus ruining the entire cruise experience of sea breezes and open views. How sad for the millions who don't do stupid things!

    I was heartbroken for this family, but since they have decided not to accept the blame for the child's death, I feel less so. Shifting the blame seems wildly inappropriate to me. Open windows, open railings, open balconies....all part of cruising. Don't climb or hang babies over them and things are fine. Royal Caribbean is not at fault here.
    I wouldn't judge the family too harshly here, it has just happened and they cannot make a rational decision on lawyers and how to deal with this. American culture is so focussed on sueing people, companies and governments, I think it is more likely attorneys were lining up and calling them offering to take their case. Before the family had time to think about it, the lawyer was already on tv, so to speak.

    And if it was a rational decision, I think it is more a method of self protection. If a judge would decide the truth is the cruise line was at fault, the daughter has a much better chance to heal the relationship with her father then when a judge says it was her father's fault. The first decision is better to live with.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    I went through my pics from Jewel of the Seas - a Radiance Class ship which has the same type of windows - to see if I had any that showed them open and closed. I found one. I put a red arrow to the open window and black arrows to the closed ones. The difference is not HUGE but it is there - ESPECIALLY with the one where the window was pushed back.
    On a sunny day they look slightly different. On a cloudy day or in dimmer light conditions they may be indistinguishable. And kids press their little noses and faces against glass all the time. My kids have done that on the DCL pool deck or in that jacuzzi by the water. I have never noticed an open window on the DCL ships and wouldn’t expect one there so high up.

    Now
     

    elle21

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2016
    I too was feeling awful for this family. What a tragedy. However hearing that they have a lawyer trying to blame the cruise line makes me a little disgusted with them. I hope they don’t get anything.
     

    DC to Poly

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2018
    For those saying he needs to be charged with manslaughter, to what end? So he can sit in jail and see the errors of his way? I think the man will be tortured everyday for the rest of his days without a jail cell. I don't see how arresting him, putting him on trial and sending him to jail will help this family.

    I am heartbroken for this family. We cruise every couple of years since my youngest was 4 years old. I don't know what I would do if I didn't come back with one of my kids. I also feel bad for all of the other cruisers. How can anyone have a good time on their vacation after a tragedy like this?
    Seeing that I raised the manslaughter charge, I'll give my reasoning behind it. This is, of course, assumes the facts warrant it. I'm basing this on the reporting that he held the child outside the window. If he put her on the ledge, that's just as bad and would warrant the charge. But if that's not what happened and then is some sort of bizarre accident, then he obviously shouldn't be charged.

    The point of charging him is not to help the family, which is a different matter. You charge him because you value the life that was lost. It's not "mom vs. grandfather." IT's "The people vs. grandfather." He didn't do just this to this family, the underpinning of our justice system is that he did this to all of us. And he (if guilty) needs to be held responsible. If his actions resulted in the death of someone outside the family does that change things? I don't see how it does. So we need to apply the same standard, in my opinion. Does he need to serve a sentence? I'm iffy on that. But there's value in him standing before a judge and admitting guilt .. or being judged by a jury if he chooses to fight the charges.

    PS -- someone raised the hot car deaths phenomenon. the Washington Post won a Pulitzer for his piece. TL;DR. Sometimes your brain goes on autopilot and in the vast majority of these deaths (not the premeditated murder cases of course), the routine was off for some reason. ever drive to work and not even realize you got there. you're on autopilot. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fatal-distraction-forgetting-a-child-in-thebackseat-of-a-car-is-a-horrifying-mistake-is-it-a-crime/2014/06/16/8ae0fe3a-f580-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html
     
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    brentm77

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2013
    Besides it is all a bit moot to wish ill on this grandfather—I’m sure he is being punished plenty with the guilt and pain he must be feeling. The internet is so full of venom sometimes...
    It really is. We nearly lost our 17-year-old daughter three weeks ago when she stopped breathing on a routine drive home from having her wisdom teeth removed. Had it not been for her mom sitting in the back with her and instantly noticing she stopped breathing, and me lifting her from the car and tilting her head back to perform CPR (opening her airway) she would be gone. The near-loss caused so much trauma and pain. Both her mother and I cried on and off for days. This other family is in unbearable pain right now and the internet wants to condemn the grandfather and even send him to prison. Even if he acted incredibly stupid, I don't see what purpose it serves in a case like this. His life will never be the same.

    The lack of compassion on the internet can be really disheartening. Thank goodness most people are much better in real life - when my daughter's incident happened, so many people stopped to help and a kind woman pulled my 14 year old aside and comforted her. The first responders were there within minutes and were amazing. It was really heart warming to have so much help from kind people.

    Edit: I am a lawyer myself and get the argument made by DC to Poly regarding manslaughter on an intellectual level. However, I don't agree with it. The criminal justice system can serve a utilitarian or retribution purpose. There is no utility in trying to deter the type of accident in this case. It was too freaky of an accident for others to change their behaviour for fear of conviction - reading the story alone would have a greater effect. Nor is there utility in locking up the grandfather to prevent harm to others. And society doesn't need retribution in a case like this. Although it sounds lofty to say he did this to society, step back a minute. What actual harm did he do to society? He harmed his own granddaughter through recklessness at worst, but society wasn't really harmed in any tangible sense that is repaired by locking the man up. Prosecutors often see the world as black and white, and it simply isn't. There is no purpose served by bringing manslaughter charges in a case like this one.
     
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