A grieving family from Florida is suing Celebrity Cruises, claiming the cruise liner kept their loved one in a drinks cooler after he passed away on board.
Robert L. Jones tragically died on board the Celebrity Equinox after suffering from heart complications.
He was allegedly put in the ship’s morgue for almost a week until docking but his family does not believe that the body was properly stored and a lawsuit has been filed.
The complaint alleges that Robert’s corpse was moved from the morgue to a drinks cooler on a different floor of the ship.
When funeral services staff arrived to get the body, which was inside a body bag on a floor palette, it had been so badly decomposed that the family could no longer have an open-funeral.
The family is now suing the cruise liner for $1 million.
In the lawsuit filed in the Florida Southern District court, they allege Celebrity Cruises improperly stored the body that the remains were ‘so far gone in the decomposition process.’
The lawsuit stated the remains could no longer be salvaged so the family had to skip their ‘long standing family tradition’ of open-casket services.
After the elderly man’s passing, cruise workers reportedly told Jones that she could choose between having the body removed from the ship in San Juan and have it kept properly for six days until the vessel arrived in Florida.
Cruise ship representatives said that there was a ‘50/50’ shot the coroner’s office in San Juan would take the body in possession before releasing it to a funeral home.
The complaint stated that it was on the cruise ship’s recommendation and Jones decided to keep her husband’s remains on board as she believed it would be stored properly.
But during the six-day journey, the body was transferred from the ship’s morgue to a drinks cooler.
“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,” the complaint continued.
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