Cruise Line Sued After Dead Body Stored in Beverage Cooler
The widow of a man who died while on board a Caribbean Cruise has filed a lawsuit against the cruise line after it was alleged the ship's crew did not properly store the remains of her deceased husband. The suit filed by Marilyn Jones and her family alleges that instead of storing the body of her deceased husband Robert in the ship's onboard morgue. His body was instead stored in a walk-in cooler used for beverages.
Here's what happened.
Marilyn Jones and her husband Robert were onboard the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship this past summer. Mr. Jones suffered a heart attack while on board the vessel and died. While this might seem extreme, the fact is about 200 passengers die onboard cruise ships every year. If you think about it, it makes sense, the clientele of many cruise lines is older so while tragic, the passing of a passenger while onboard is not totally unexpected.
As is usually the case when a passenger expires onboard the cruise staff will store the body in the ship's morgue. In the case of Mr. Jones, it is alleged that his widow was given the option to disembark with the body in Puerto Rico and then arrange transportation back to the United States, or, the widow could remain onboard while Mr. Jones's remains were stored in the ship's morgue. Mrs. Jones opted to remain onboard for logistical reasons however her lawsuit alleges the cruise line did not store her husband's body properly.
According to the lawsuit filed by the Jones family the body was found bloated and green when it was retrieved from the ship once the vessel had docked back in Fort Lauderdale some six days after Mr. Jones had passed. A funeral home and a Broward County Detective when onboard the ship once it had arrived in Fort Lauderdale to retrieve the remains. That's when it was discovered that the body had not been stored in the ship's morgue.
Apparently, there was an issue with the morgue onboard and the crew made the decision to store the deceased in the walk-in cooler. That cooler did not provide the cooling necessary, allegedly, to properly store the body. This resulted in the advanced stages of decomposition that prevented the Jones family from having an open casket service.
The Jones family is seeking at least $1 million dollars in damages. Attorneys representing the Jones family say they are seeking a trial by jury.
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