Celebrity Cruises Accused Of Storing Dead Body In Ship's Cooler

Celebrity Cruises Accused Of Improperly Storing Passenger’s Dead Body In Ship’s Cooler, Lawsuit Says


Celebrity Cruises Accused Of Improperly Storing Passenger's Dead Body In Ship's Cooler, Lawsuit Says

A Florida woman and her family are now suing Celebrity Cruises. According to CNN, the woman is accusing the company of improperly storing her husband’s dead body in the ship’s cooler after he died on board.


More Details Regarding The Passenger's Death

According to the outlet, Robert L. Jones, 79, passed away after a “cardiac event” on the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship in August 2022.

At the time of his death, the ship was reportedly traveling from Fort Lauderdale to “ports in the Eastern Caribbean.”

After Jones’ death, his 78-year-old wife, Marilyn Jones, was reportedly informed that she only had two options regarding what could be done with her husband’s body. Either it could be “removed from the ship in San Juan,” and the widow would independently arrange her travel home and her husband’s autopsy. Or she could have his body “stored on the ship” until it returned to the Fort Lauderdale, Florida port.

Additionally, the ship was scheduled to arrive in Fort Lauderdale “six days from the date” of Jones’ passing.

Ultimately, Jones’ body reportedly remained on the ship for “approximately six days.”


The Passenger's Body Was Not Stored In The Ship's Morgue

According to the lawsuit, when funeral service employees entered the ship to retrieve Jones’ body, it was not found in the ship’s morgue.

An excerpt from the lawsuit, reported via CNN, reveals more about the body’s storage location.

“Instead, Mr. Jones’ body had, at some time not yet known, had been moved from the ship’s morgue to a cooler on a different floor than the ship’s morgue. The cooler in which Mr. Jones’ body was found by the funeral employee had drinks placed outside of the cooler, and was not at a temperature which was sufficient nor proper for storing a dead body to prevent decomposition.”

Additionally, the lawsuit reportedly states that Jones’ body was found “in a bag on a palette on the floor of the cooler.”

Furthermore, the man’s body “was in advanced stages of decomposition.”


More Details Regarding The Lawsuit & Justice For The Jones' Family

According to CNN, the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, April 19, in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The lawsuit also explains the extent to which Jones’ body decayed after being stored in the ship’s cooler, as reported via NBC News.

“By allowing Mr. Jones’ body to decompose while on the ship to such a state that his family was unable to have open casket funeral and wake services, denying his wife of 55 years, children, grandchildren, friends, and community the closure their family and community deserved, a practice which was a part of his family’s culture.”

Additionally, the lawsuit reportedly explains that the cruise ship should have been equipped “to handle a death” and properly store Jones’ body since cardiac events are the “leading cause of death among passengers on its ships.”

Marilyn Jones, and her family, are reportedly seeking “compensatory damages” for $1 million. Additionally, the family is “demanding a trial by jury.”

According to NBC News, a representative for Celebrity Cruises shared a statement with the outlet on April 21.

“Due to the sensitivity of the alleged facts and out of respect for the family, we decline to comment on the matter.”


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