Grieving family members in Florida have filed a $1 million dollar lawsuit against a cruise line after the remains of their loved one, who died of a heart attack on board the Celebrity Equinox, were allegedly placed in a cooler rather than in the ship’s morgue last summer.
Marilyn Jones alleges that Celebrity Cruises, a “foreign profit corporation with its principal place of business in Miami, Florida,” committed maritime tortious interference with its handling of her husband’s dead body. The lawsuit said that 79-year-old Robert Jones’ remains were “so far gone in the decomposition process” that his wife of 55 years, children and grandchildren were not able to say goodbye at an open-casket funeral.
A celebration of Jones’ life from Aug. 26, 2022, posted on First Baptist Bonifay’s Facebook page showed that the deceased’s casket was closed. Family members also included in the lawsuit as plaintiffs are Robert Jones’ Florida-based daughters Robin Phillips and Teresa West, as well as two minor grandchildren. Allison Phillips, a Texas resident identified as Jones’ granddaughter, is also a party to the lawsuit.