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Body of dead cruise ship passenger 'decomposed after being stored in drinks cooler'

NewsBody of dead cruise ship passenger 'decomposed after being stored in drinks cooler'

A cruise liner is being sued by a widow who claims her husband’s body was placed in a drinks cooler following his death.

Marylin Jones, 78, says the body of 79-year-old Robert L Jones was removed from the ship’s morgue and stored in a drinks cooler at the wrong temperature – and, as a result, his body began to decompose.

The Mirror reports that the Florida couple were onboard the Celebrity Equinox ship when Mr Jones died from heart complications last August.

Celebrity Cruises, who are required to have a working morgue, gave Mrs Jones the option of taking the body off the ship when it docked at their next stop in Puerto Rico or have it placed in the ship’s morgue until it returned to Fort Lauderdale six days later.

Mrs Jones, who has launched a lawsuit against the company, claims she was “encouraged” to keep her husband’s remains on the ship until they returned to Fort Lauderdale.

READ MORE: Man overboard ‘had seconds left’ before death

The Mirror says that Mrs Jones gave permission for the body to be kept in the morgue.  But before the ship docked in Fort Lauderdale, it was moved to the drinks cooler on a separate floor.

The lawsuit says: “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.”

When the Broward County deputy sheriff and a local funeral home went to collect the body on August 21 ahead of Mr Jones’ funeral, they found an intubation tube left in his throat.

The body had decomposed inside a body bag in the drink cooler that was not at an “appropriate” temperature, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit adds: “The company’s actions and inactions with regard to Mr Jones’s body were extremely indifferent to his passing, his dignity, and his family, friends and community’s loss, and showed an entire want of care for the safety of his remains.

“As a passenger on its ship, the defendant owed Robert Jones a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.”

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