(CN) - The California Supreme Court should provide guidance on demands that all retailers there need defibrillators for customer emergencies, the 9th Circuit said Tuesday.
Mary Ann Verdugo experienced sudden cardiac arrest in 2008 while shopping at a Target in Pico Rivera, Calif. It took paramedics several minutes to arrive, and the 49-year-old died at the scene.
The tragedy is not uncommon, according to the 9th Circuit, which noted that 300,000 people go into sudden cardiac arrest every year in America. Only 8 percent survive, and those who do generally have their heart restarted by an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) within five minutes. While Target sells AEDs on its website, it does not require their installation in its stores.
Verdugo's mother and brother sued the retailer for wrongful death, but Target disputes that it has a duty to install AEDs in its stores.