The long court battle in the case of Verdugo v. Target is nearing its end. The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments on May 6, 2014 and a decision is expected by August. I listened to the audio recording of the proceedings and, to my ear, the justices took a skeptical view of the Verdugos’ position that commercial property owners in California must have automated external defibrillators (AEDs). While, as a general rule, one cannot reliably predict the outcome of an appeal from the oral arguments, the justices’ questions and interactions with the lawyers strongly suggest the court will rule in Target’s favor by finding there is no common law duty requiring California businesses to have AEDs.
By Richard A. Lazar