Lawsuit Alleges Cruise Ship Crew Refused to Let Dying Man Disembark

The family of a 65-year-old man who died aboard a cruise ship late last year is suing Carnival Cruise Line, alleging crew refused to let the man leave the ship to seek proper treatment.

According to the Miami Herald, Jeffrey Eisenman of Marble, Pennsylvania suffered a “major heart attack” while the Carnival Sunshine was docked in Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands on December 3, 2018. He died the following day.

Now, Eisenman’s wife Linda, daughter Julie and son Ryan are accusing the ship’s crew of negligence and infliction of intentional emotional distress.

“Jeffrey Eisenman died onboard while confined to the medical center of the Carnival Sunshine against his will,” the lawsuit states. “His family was forced to watch on in horror at his mistreatment and decline into a gruesome death.”

The family claims it had purchased travel insurance covering an air evacuation if necessary and informed the medical staff to no avail. “Inexplicably, all of their requests and pleas for help went unanswered,” the lawsuit adds. “The Carnival Sunshine left Grand Turk with Jeffrey Eisenman and his family confined onboard against their will, helpless against the willful inhumane conduct of Carnival in holding a critically ill man imprisoned in an unequipped medical center.”

The ship continued on to Puerto Rico. However, the suit claims Carnival staff told the family that they couldn’t remove Eisenman’s body from the ship because they couldn’t guarantee it would get to the continental U.S. from the still-hurricane damaged island. Linda and Julie disembarked in Puerto Rico while Ryan stayed aboard with his father’s body. The ship docked back in Cape Canaveral, Florida five days later.

DEATH AT SEA: Family files suit against @CarnivalCruise claiming staff aboard Carnival Sunshine ignored requests to airlift their ailing father, who suffered a heart attack on the ship. 65-year-old Jeffrey Eisenman later died on board. @WPLGLocal10 is LIVE with the latest… pic.twitter.com/D9MTBprmzA

Carnival apologized for the family’s loss but refuted the lawsuit’s account of what happened.

“We are very sorry for the Eisenman family’s loss but the scenario that is alleged in the lawsuit is not accurate,” Carnival said in an emailed statement to the Herald. “Our onboard medical team followed all proper procedures to attend to a guest who became critically ill very quickly, including liaising with the local hospital which was not equipped to handle his condition. Mr. Eisenman’s treatment plan and keeping him on the ship was formulated in consultation with his family.”

Earlier this year, three passengers sued Carnival for injuries sustained when the Carnival Sunshine tilted during a cruise in October 2018.

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