The family of a man who died of a heart attack on a Carnival cruise ship alleged in a lawsuit that he was barred from disembarking while the ship was docked and forced to die a painful death as the ship sailed to its next destination.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Miami federal court, Jeffrey Eisenman's wife and two adult children, who were on board the Carnival Sunshine last December for a family cruise, accused the crew of negligence and implication of intentional emotional distress. ] "Jeffrey Eisenman died onboard while confined to the medical center of the Carnival Sunshine against his will," the lawsuit alleges. "His family was forced to watch in horror at his mistreatment and decline into a gruesome death."
Jeffrey Eisenman, 65, sailed on the Carnival Sunshine out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Dec. 1
An hour later, the ship's doctor diagnosed him as having suffered a "major heart attack "
His wife had bought a travel medical insurance that included coverage for air evacuation, if necessary, the lawsuit claims
Just before 4 pm, when the ship doctor was told to the family that Jeffrey Eisenman would not be able to get off the ship because someone else had to be medically disembarked first, the lawsuit argues. The family said they were "begged and pleaded" to get off the boat, but the captain ordered the departure for Puerto Rico.
"Despite their many cries for help, Carnival utterly failed the Eisenman family and disregarded the life of a critically ill "
When the boat docked in Puerto Rico, the lawsuit states that Carnival's staff could not guarantee Jeffrey Eisenman's body would get to the United States from the island, which was still recovering from Hurricane Maria. ] His wife and daughter were disembarked in Puerto Rico, while his son stayed on the ship to accompany his father's body to his final destination in Cape Canaveral, according to the lawsuit
"We "It is very sorry for Eisenman's family's loss, but the scenario that is alleged in the lawsuit is not accurate," Carnival Cruise Lines told NBC News on Thursday. "Our onboard medical team followed all the proper procedures for attending a guest who was critically ill very quickly, including liaison with the local hospital, which was not equipped to handle his condition. Mr. Eisenman's treatment plan and keeping him on board was formulated in consultation with his family. "
The Eisenman family seeks damages for loss of support, loss of inheritance, funeral expenses and court costs, among others. Griffith is a news reporter for NBC News.