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California wrongful death lawsuit sparks life-saving debate

In addition to eating healthy foods and exercising, there are certain courses people can take to ensure their well-being as well as the safety of their loved ones. These courses offered throughout San Diego include topics such as first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, to name a few. Having the right skills and equipment can prevent an accidental death, as one local family knows all too well.

The Supreme Court of California is currently considering whether or not large retail companies will be required to have to have a device known as an automatic external defibrillator (AED) onsite. The tool is used to get a heart in cardiac arrest working again, increasing an individual’s chances of surviving by as much as 30 percent. Currently, AEDs are required in a number of public places according to either federal or state laws.

California has taken up the debate as the result of a wrongful death lawsuit filed after a woman went into sudden cardiac arrest in a large department store, which lacked an AED and a staff member trained to operate it. According to the lawsuit, a retailer’s legal responsibility to simply call 911 in the event of such an emergency does not do enough to save lives. The case has made its way through the court system, and the state supreme court has a few months to rule on the matter.

Losing a loved one can be extremely difficult no matter what the cause of death was. In the event that someone’s negligence led to the event, survivors should consult with an attorney to pursue a wrongful death claim. These lawsuits can not only hold responsible parties accountable for damages such as funeral costs, but they may also set precedents to save the lives of others.

Source: NBC San Diego, “Calif. Supreme Court Mulls Defibrillator Requirement for Large Retailers,” May 6, 2014

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