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Houston Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Personal Injury > Carnival Cruise Sued After Heart Attack Victim Could not be Airlifted

Carnival Cruise Sued After Heart Attack Victim Could not be Airlifted


A doctor aboard a Carnival Cruise ship told Jeffery Eisenman that he might need to have a stent placed in his heart after he suffered a heart attack onboard the vessel. However, there was no way to get him off the ship to a hospital that had the facilities to perform the procedure. The ship had one airvac unit and someone else had already claimed it. Eisenman was not able to get to Miami in time and died aboard the vessel.

Now, the family is suing Carnival for what it claims are inadequate medical services. They are claiming that they watched Eisenman die while there was no one who could perform the routine, but lifesaving, surgery that would have allowed him to live. They are claiming that Carnival held the man imprisoned and that their conduct was “wilfully inhumane”.

How Did the Cruise Line Handle the Situation? 

This appears to be the major bone of contention between the family and Carnival. The family maintains that the cruise line acted with egregious negligence and refused to release their loved one’s body.

However, the cruise line maintains that they did everything in their power to contact a local hospital in Puerto Rico which did not have the required facilities to attend to the man. Puerto Rico, which was still reeling from the hurricane at the time of Eisenman’s death, told onboard doctors that they could not care for their passenger. The cruise line maintains that they consulted with the family and came to an agreement concerning Eisenman and that he would remain aboard the vessel until he could be removed safely to Miami. However, Eisenman died before that was possible.

What’s True and What’s False? 

The facts of the case that both sides agree on are telling in this instance. Eisenman suffered a heart attack aboard the vessel, required medical intervention that he could not receive either onboard or at the nearest local hospital, and there was no way to get Eisenman from the vessel to a hospital that could care for him because the helicopter airvac unit was already being used by someone else.

Whether or not the family agreed to leave Eisenman on the vessel is largely irrelevant to the main fact that Carnival found itself in a position of being hopelessly under-equipped to handle the major event as it presented itself. This, in turn, resulted in their passenger’s death.

Now, if the family can convince a jury that their recollection of events is more likely than the cruise line’s they may preserve a case for intentional infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages. However, it may be difficult to prove that the cruise line held Mr. Eisenman against his will and, if they did, it seems more likely that they thought it was in their patient’s best interest to do so.

Talk to a Houston Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you’ve been injured on a cruise line, the Houston personal injury attorneys at Livingston & Flowers, P.L.L.C. can help you or your family recover damages related to the mistreatment. Talk to us today for a free consultation.


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