Wednesday, May 8

Cruise ship passenger’s physique was stored in drinks cooler for nearly per week, lawsuit claims

A Florida widow and her household are suing a cruise line for allegedly mishandling her husband’s useless physique and storing it in a drinks cooler after he died on board a ship.

Robert Jones’ physique was saved inside a walk-in cooler usually used for drinks for almost per week as a substitute of a correctly chilled morgue as his spouse was promised, based on the federal lawsuit filed in Florida.

Mr Jones died of a coronary heart assault whereas onboard the Celebrity Equinox on 15 August final yr.

The lawsuit claims his physique was present in “advanced stages of decomposition” in a cooler in a bag on a palette.

It says it left the physique bloated and inexperienced, and the household was unable to have an open-coffin funeral “which was a long-standing family custom”.

Celebrity Cruises declined to remark, citing the case’s sensitivity and “out of respect for the family”.

The Celebrity Equinox, which cruises the Caribbean year-round out of Fort Lauderdale in Florida, is flagged out of Malta and might carry nearly 3,000 passengers.

According to the lawsuit, after Mr Jones died his widow Marilyn was given two decisions by crew members.

They allegedly advised her that his physique could possibly be taken off on the subsequent cease, Puerto Rico, or saved within the morgue till the ship returned to Fort Lauderdale in six days.

In the occasion of passenger deaths, most massive cruise ships have a morgue.

The crew advised Ms Jones that if she selected Puerto Rico, she would wish to depart together with her husband’s physique and organize transportation again to Florida, the swimsuit mentioned.

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She was additionally advised that inland authorities might require a autopsy, which might additional delay their return.

Ms Jones picked the morgue, however the lawsuit says that’s not the place the physique was saved.

When the ship arrived in Florida, a funeral dwelling worker and a Broward County sheriff’s deputy discovered the morgue apparently out of service.

They then discovered Mr Jones’ physique in a walk-in drinks cooler in a bag on a palette, based on the swimsuit.

It says the cooler was considerably hotter than the near-freezing temperatures wanted to correctly retailer a physique and that the stays have been in “advanced stages of decomposition”.

The lawsuit claims Celebrity’s actions “stripped” Mr Jones of his dignity and induced his household “extreme trauma”.

Ms Jones, her two daughters and three grandchildren are in search of $1m in damages.

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