MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-based Celebrity Cruises will have to pay a former employee $1 million in damages after a jury found them negligent of improper medical care.
Attorneys for Shalesh Butto, a former pastry cook assistant, say he was unnecessarily implanted with a pacemaker after complaining of severe migraine headaches.
In June 2009, Shalesh Butto, 31, began experiencing the headaches and went to one of the ship’s doctors for treatment. The ship doctors sents Butto from Amsterdam to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for further treatment. The doctors in Santo Domingo told Butto he had a heart condition and several months later, inserted a pacemaker into his chest.
According to his attorney Ervin Gonzalez, Butto continued to suffer from headaches, and developed additional symptoms due to the pacemaker.
After more testing, Butto was diagnosed with a sinus infection and underwent surgery, which alleviated the headaches but he was still weak due to the pacemaker.
In 2010, Butto obtained a Visa and was seen by doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital and the pacemaker was eventually explanted.
Gonzalez argued that due to the cruise lines negligence, Butto was not able to work because of extreme pain.
After being presented with the case, the jury deliberated and awarded Butto $1 million in damages.
“This could have and should have been avoided. Mr. Butto had a simple sinus infection that could have been easily diagnosed and treated.” said Gonzalez. “Instead, they flew him from Europe to Santo Domingo, gave a young viral man an unnecessary pacemaker, and disabled him for over a year.”