Disney Cruise Line sued by family following man’s stroke at sea

Nghi Nguyen, 76, was remembered as a family man.

A new federal lawsuit accuses Disney and a health services group of not doing enough to save a 76-year-old man who was having a stroke on board the Disney Dream cruise last year. The man, a beloved family man and watchmaker from Pennsylvania, died two months after his vacation.

Nghi Nguyen’s daughter, Nga, filed the lawsuit against Disney Cruise Line and Virginia-based Vanter Cruise Health Services in the U.S. District Court’s Orlando division.

According to his obituary, Nguyen died June 8, 2023, at a hospital in his home state of Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit said he boarded the Disney Dream on April 10, 2023. The ship was embarking to Castaway Cay and the Bahamas from Miami.

Four days into the trip, at 10 p.m. while the cruise was at sea, Nguyen showed symptoms of a stroke. He struggled to speak and was paralyzed on the right side. Within 30 minutes, he was in the Dream’s medical center and medical results showed he was having a severe stroke, the lawsuit said. A physician diagnosed him as having a stroke following a test and ECG.

But the lawsuit accused the Dream’s physicians of failing to reach out to a neurologist or specialist on land for help. No one sought an emergency medical evacuation or rushed him to land for his medical emergency, the lawsuit said

“Despite Mr. Nguyen’s clear symptoms of a stroke of recent onset, the Dream’s physicians and medical staff did not speak with the ship’s captain about speeding up the ship toward land,” said the lawsuit, filed Tuesday.

“Mr. Nguyen’s condition continued to deteriorate while on the vessel and despite his continued deterioration and progressing stroke, he was kept on the vessel and not disembarked until approximately 7:00 a.m. on April 15, 2023, more than 8 hours after his symptoms began.”

He died from the delay to get better medical treatment, the lawsuit alleged.

“The Disney Dream medical staff and personnel made the decision to continue on its scheduled itinerary without making any effort or arrangements to medically evacuate Mr. Nguyen or get him to a higher level of care capable of treating him for his condition prior to arrival at the pre-planned port of call,” the lawsuit added.

“The physicians and medical staff aboard Disney’s Dream were aware of the time-sensitive nature of Mr. Nguyen’s stroke symptoms and that such a condition calls for urgent treatment at a capable facility.”

According to his obituary, Nguyen lived in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Born in Cambodia, he immigrated to the United States and opened a business as a jeweler and watchmaker. He had been married for more than 50 years and was a father of three children as well as a grandfather.

“In fact, rare was a time when family was not around in some shape or form,” his obituary said. “If pictures are worth a thousand words, then a thousand words show how Nghi was always surrounded by family.”

Disney Cruise Line and Vanter did not respond to comment for this story.

Florida Politics broke the story earlier this year that Disney is facing another lawsuit related to a person’s death after a woman died from severe food allergies following a meal at Disney Springs.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 15, 2024 at 2:51 pm

    Myth: Disney is coming for your children

    Fact: Disney is coming for your elderlies

Comments are closed.


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