A Florida woman and her family are suing Celebrity Cruises. They allege that the cruise line did not store her husband’s body in the morgue, but instead put it in the ship’s cooler.
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The widow of Robert L. Jones is accusing the company of not storing her late husband’s body properly, which caused it to decompose so much that his family was unable to have an open casket funeral. The Jones family is seeking damages of at least $1 million, according to the lawsuit reported by the news outlet.
In August 2022, Jones passed away due to a cardiac emergency while on the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship. The cruise had departed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was traveling in the Eastern Caribbean.
According to CNN, Marilyn Jones was informed that after her husband’s death, there were two options: either have the body taken off the ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico, or keep it on board until the ship reached Ft. Lauderdale in six days. She chose to have the body stored.
The lawsuit also states that, “When the funeral services employee in Ft. Lauderdale was brought onto the ship to retrieve Mr. Jones’ body, his body was not located in the ship’s morgue. 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.”
Celebrity Cruises has only submitted an email in response. “Due to the sensitivity of the alleged facts and out of respect for the family, we decline to comment on the matter.”