New York law requires health clubs to have an Automated Extended Defibrillator (AED) on hand as well as staff trained in its operation at all times. Yet, the high court in New York ruled that these establishments are not required to actually use an AED on a patron in cardiac arrest.
The underlying case was filed in 2008 on behalf of Gregory Miglino, who collapsed in a health club owned and operated by Bally Total Fitness of Greater New York. According to the court record, several Bally employees, including one trained in AED use, arrived at the scene with the club’s AED but never used it. The court noted that paramedics later attempted to use the defibrillator but it was too late, as Miglino was pronounced dead.
The Court’s majority opinion ruled that the AED law does not create a duty running from a health club to its members to use a defibrillator. However, the dissenting opinion of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman stated that the presence of an AED is of no benefit to a person in cardiac arrest unless it is actually used.
According to a CBS New York article, Scott Charna, the attorney for the estate of the deceased and the surviving family members intends to continue the fight to establish liability under the common law. Charna noted his agreement with Judge Lippman’s dissent that it does not make sense to require an AED and training but not to enforce the use of it.
Contact a New York Injury Lawyer
At Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C., our New York injury lawyers are dedicated to pursuing the rights of victims and their loved ones. If you or a loved one suffered a cardiac arrest and died or suffered serious injuries due to the health club’s failure to use an AED, you should contact us. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our New York injury lawyers, call 800-529-9997.