But instead of a fake tool, Eaton alleges in his lawsuit that he was shocked with the real thing.
The episode was titled "Time of Death."
Eaton went to the emergency room and has since received counseling for anxiety and flashbacks, according to the complaint. His attorney, Larry Rabineau, said there is no lasting physical injury from the incident.
"The physical injury is not the big issue in the case," Rabineau said. "It is the emotional component of it. Every time he now has to go back on the set and deal with props, he second-guesses whether it was done right."
The lawsuit seeks unspecified medical expenses and damages for loss of income and earning capacity.
The lawsuit only names the maker of the defibrillator, Physio-Control Inc., as a defendant and states the company "knew or should have known that the production company who ordered this device would not have the training or experience or knowledge to determine if the device was live."
Rabineau said Eaton is wary of suing companies with whom he hopes to work in his acting career, including Bonanza Productions Inc., which produced the show.
"He wants to be as diplomatic as possible and yet maintain the integrity of the claim," Rabineau said.
A spokeswoman for Physio-Control, which is owned by medical device manufacturer Medtronic Inc., said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
A representative for Bonanza, producer of the "Vampire Diaries" and "Hellcats," declined to comment because the company had not been named in the lawsuit.