While having AEDs in all health clubs is a step in the right direction, what good will they do if there isn’t a trained staff member with an obligation to use them on heart attack victims
New York, NY (PRWEB) March 15, 2013
According to a CBS New York article, New York’s highest court ruled (Miglino v. Bally Total Fitness, No. 10, NYLJ 1202587394687) that even though state law requires New York health clubs to have Automated External Defibrillators and staff trained in their operation, they are not required to actually use them on an individual in cardiac arrest.
The article further noted that the Court of Appeals ruling is a result of a negligence lawsuit filed over the 2007 death of Gregory Miglino Sr., who collapsed in cardiac arrest at a Long Island health club owned by Bally Total Fitness of Greater New York.
According to a New York Law Journal article, the health club staff called 911, requested the assistance of an in-house medical professional over the broadcasting system, and brought the AED to Miglino’s side for possible use. According to court affidavits, one of the trainers detected breathing and a pulse but failed to use the AED. Paramedics later shocked Miglino, but it was too late and he died.
The New York Law Journal article also stated that on February 7, 2013, the court ruled that although the lawsuit can proceed, the gym’s duty is limited. On behalf of the majority, Judge Susan Read opinioned that the AED law “does not create a duty running from a health club to its members to use an AED.” The judges further concurred that whereas the AED mandating law is easy to enforce and obey, an implied duty to use it would be neither.
The article quoted the dissenting opinion of Chief Judge Jonathon Lippman, who wrote that the statute should not be interpreted in a way that renders it virtually meaningless. In fact, Judge Lippman further noted, the measure “was meant to ensure a higher level of safety” for individuals who belong to health clubs.”
Additionally the February 8th law journal article quotes Judge Lippman as stating that health clubs are subject to liability only under the state’s “Good Samaritan” law, which shields the clubs and staff from liability for providing first aid except in cases of gross negligence.
Jeff Korek, Senior Partner at Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C., agrees with Judge Lippman that it does not make sense to require the equipment and training and not require the use of the device. “While having AEDs in all health clubs is a step in the right direction, what good will they do if there isn’t a trained staff member with an obligation to use them on heart attack victims,” questioned Mr. Korek. “Unfortunately, this legislative half-measure is unlikely to prevent as many unnecessary heart attack deaths as it could.”
We Can Help
The New York personal injury lawyers at Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C. are dedicated to working with any victims and their loved ones in evaluating any potential lawsuits against health clubs in their failure to use an AED during a cardiac arrest.
Serving residents of New York and New Jersey for over 25 years, the New York personal injury lawyers at Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C. are committed to the relentless pursuit of victims’ rights. They urge anyone in need of assistance to contact them immediately.
Jeff S. Korek
Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C.
111 Broadway, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10006