On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court announced that retailers are not obligated to maintain automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in anticipation of medical emergencies. In Verdugo v. Target Corporation, the state’s highest court held that the burden retailers would face in acquiring and maintaining AEDs outweighed the foreseeability of harm.
The underlying case involved a 49-year-old developmentally disabled shopper who died after experiencing sudden cardiac arrest while at a California Target store. The store did not have an AED nor an employee trained to use one.
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