MIAMI (CBSMiami) – MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Miami against Carnival Cruise Lines alleging that a crew prevented a seriously ill man from getting off a ship.

The lawsuit claims the crew on the Carnival Sunshine had inadequate medical facilities which caused Jeffrey Eisenman’s death mid-cruise.

The suit says Eisenman had a major heart attack while docked in Grand Turk on December 3rd, 2018.

The ship’s doctor advised that Eisenman might need a stent and definitely would need to be flown to Miami. Grand Turk has an airport but no cardiac unit. Eisenman’s family was then informed that he was not able to get off the ship because someone else had to be medically evacuated first.

The ship departed Grand Turk around 4 p.m. with Eisenman and his family onboard.

“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,” according to the lawsuit.

Eisenman died the next day.

When the boat docked at Puerto Rico, Eisenman’s family was told by the ship’s crew that they couldn’t guarantee that his body would get to the US from a still-hurricane damaged island, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. His wife Linda and daughter Julie got off the ship while his son Ryan stayed onboard with his father’s body.

The ship docked back in Cape Canaveral five days later.

In response to the lawsuit, Carnival Cruise Lines is this statement.

We are very sorry for the Eisenman family’s loss, but the scenario that is alleged in the lawsuit is not accurate. 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.
Vance Gulliksen/Carnival Pubic Relations

(©2019 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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