Cruise line faces £1m lawsuit over claims dead passenger was stored in cooler  

By Lisa James
24/04/2023
Home » Cruise line faces £1m lawsuit over claims dead passenger was stored in cooler  

The body of a Florida man was left to decompose in a drinks cooler on board Celebrity Equinox after he died during a cruise, according to a lawsuit.

The family of Robert Jones, 79, is suing Celebrity Cruises for £1 million over extreme emotional trauma.

According to the US District Court of Southern Florida, Robert Jones and wife Marilyn, 78, travelled on Celebrity Equinox from Fort Lauderdale in August last year.  

Mr Jones died two days into the cruise, and his body was stored for nearly a week inside a walk-in beverage cooler rather than the morgue, Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit alleges Mrs Jones was told that her husband’s body could be taken off in Puerto Rico or kept in the morgue until they returned to Fort Lauderdale.

As she was travelling alone, she asked for the body to go to the ship’s morgue, but this was not where it was stored, the lawsuit says.

Court papers say that, by the end of the cruise, his body was bloated and green and the family was unable to hold an open-coffin funeral ‘which was a long-standing family custom and was what his family had desired’.

The lawsuit is being taken out on behalf of Mrs Jones, her two daughters and three grandchildren, who say they suffered extreme emotional trauma ‘by visualizing Mr Jones’s body horrifically decomposed, and knowing their husband and father was callously and casually left in a beverage cooler, stripping him of his dignity’.

Celebrity Cruises said: “We are aware of the lawsuit recently filed. Out of respect for the family, and due to the fact that there is ongoing litigation, we are unable to comment on the matter.”

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