News World Cruise line allowed passengers to mutilate their bodies, lawsuit says

Cruise line allowed passengers to mutilate their bodies, lawsuit says

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP) – A widow and her family are suing Celebrity Cruises for mishandling her husband’s body while on board last year, saying it was left uncorrupted and left them traumatized.

After Marilyn Jones’s husband, Robert Jones, 55, died of a heart attack on the Celebrity Equinox on August 15, his body was stored in a cooler used for beverages instead of a properly refrigerated morgue for almost one week. According to a federal lawsuit filed in Florida, she promised.

This left the body swollen and raw, and the family was unable to perform an open casket funeral, “which was a long-standing family custom and preferred by his family,” the lawsuit says. Marilyn Jones, her two daughters and her three grandchildren are seeking $1 million in damages.

Celebrity Cruises declined to comment due to the sensitivity of the case and “out of respect for the family.” Celebrity Equinox sails the Caribbean year-round from Fort Lauderdale, is Maltese-flagged and can carry nearly 3,000 passengers and 1,200 crew.

After Robert Jones’ death, board members gave his widow two options, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale.

Marilyn Jones, then 78 and from the Florida Panhandle, was reportedly told that her body could be taken to the next stop, Puerto Rico, or placed in a morgue until the ship returned to Fort Lauderdale in six days. . Because passenger deaths sometimes occur, most large cruise ships have a morgue.

The teams told him that if he chose Puerto Rico, he would have to go with the body and arrange transportation back to Florida. Island authorities were told an autopsy would be required, which could further delay their return.

Since Jones was alone, he chose the morgue. But the body was never placed there, the lawsuit says.

When the ship arrived in Florida, a Broward County funeral director and deputy sheriff said the morgue appeared to be out of service. According to the lawsuit, the body was found in a beverage cooler in a bag on a pallet.

He said the cold was significantly warmer than the subzero temperatures required to properly preserve a body, and that Robert Jones’s remains were in “advanced stages of decomposition.”

Celebrity’s actions caused the family “extreme trauma upon viewing the horrific mutilation of Mr. Jones’s body and learning that his husband and father carelessly and casually left a drink in the refrigerator, robbing him of his dignity,” the lawsuit says. .

Jones’ attorneys are seeking a jury trial.



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