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Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Public Places and AED Law

With 250,000 Americans dying from sudden cardiac arrest each year, the topic of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are becoming more relevant in the news media. AEDs can save the life of a person if it’s used on a victim of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) as soon as possible. For every minute that an AED isn’t used during a SCA, the American Heart Association predicts, the chances for survival decrease by 10%.

So using an AED is extremely important. AEDs are required in certain public facilities. The State of Florida was the first to answer to call for widespread AED adoption, when, in 1997, the state enacted AED liability laws, addressing the need for a fast response to sudden heart attacks in public places.

How AED Laws are Saving Lives of Personal Injury Victims

The “automated external defibrillator” or “AED”, a portable lifesaving device, allows trained non-medical personnel to treat a heart attack victim immediately, preventing as many as 50,000 deaths from occurring each year. This means, for example, that a trained employee of a retail store could potentially save the life of an individual who experiences sudden cardiac arrest while shopping in the store. It’s easy to see the enormous potential of the AED in saving lives and also the risks of having no AED on site.

The requirement by law to keep an AED available varies drastically from state to state. On the Federal level, AEDs are required to be present and maintained in all Federal buildings, which may include courthouses, post offices and airports, for example.

At the state level in Florida, some laws have been enacted to require AEDs to be present in certain public places. Schools, for example, must have an AED available if they are to participate in FSHAA sporting events, which includes most public schools and universities.

Under certain conditions, other places that might be required to have an AED on site might include:

  1. Golf courses
  2. NCAA and high school athletic programs
  3. Airports
  4. Sports stadiums (including high school sporting events)
  5. Gyms
  6. Theme parks
  7. Dentist’s offices
  8. Medical offices
  9. Nursing homes

If you or a loved one suffered sudden cardiac arrest in a public place in South Florida with no AED on site, you may have a personal injury negligence case to pursue. Even if an AED was present, but was not used, you may still have a claim to make against the property owners. You and your family may be entitled to compensation for injury or death.

Please contact West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer Craig Goldenfarb, recognized as a leading legal authority on the use of AEDs and heart attack defibrillators in Florida. Few personal injury attorneys are experienced in this area of the law. Mr. Goldenfarb offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case, determine if you are entitled to compensation, and give you the facts you need to make informed decisions about your future. Please contact Craig Goldenfarb, P.A. today.

Craig Goldenfarb is an expert on the topic of personal injury and AED law. Craig has lectured all over the country on the subject, sits as the chairman of the AED Litigation section of the American Justice Association, and has been quoted in media on the growing topic of interest.

Recent Articles on AED Liability

Horrifying news out of a Tampa area high school: 14-year old Hezekiah Walters suddenly collapses and dies on the football field. If an AED was not used, there may be a liability case against the school.

Brian Smart, 24, a high school athletic trainer who trained and mentored young athletes, tragically died on Sunday, May 5, when he suffered a cardiac arrest during the Philadelphia 10-Mile Broad Street Race. Smart worked as an athletic trainer at the Darby Street School District. Coworkers say he was in excellent shape, and the heart…

This long-form article, published in several legal journals, is authored by Craig M. Goldenfarb, Esq., personal injury attorney and expert litigator in use and non-use of automated external defibrillator (AED) in public places. It explains the history of AEDs, a look into future case law, and why people should not be afraid to use AEDs to save lives. Mr. Goldenfarb is the preeminent national thought-leader on litigation involving AEDs.

A very young boy at only 8 years-old has lost his life due to what the surviving parents suspect to be sudden cardiac arrest. If proven true, Caleb Ray would be one of the youngest victims of SCA due to the absence of an AED in years. Our lawyers discuss potential negligence.

A 14-year old boy, Kamarr Scott, died after collapsing on a track field at his school. He may have have been saved had an AED been used by staff.

A Jacksonville, Florida high school sophomore has died from what doctors are calling sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while he was working out in the weight room of Fleming Island High School. Ben Johnson was a beloved football and basketball player, and a highly respected student, according to the outpouring of love on the school’s social…

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