Verdugo v. Target Corporation

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
  • Date Filed: 10-28-2014
  • Case #: 10-57008
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Circuit Judges Graber and Berzon; Seperate Opinion by Circuit Judge Pregerson.
  • Full Text Opinion

Commercial property owners do not owe customers a common law duty of reasonable care to maintain an Automatic External Defibrillator (“AED”) in cases of a medical emergency.

While shopping at Target in Pico River, California, Mary Ann Verdugo ("Verdugo") suffered sudden cardiac arrest. Because there was no Automatic External Defibrillator (“AED”) at Target, Verdugo had died by the time medical assistance arrived. Verdugo’s family brought suit against Target, claiming that it had a “common law duty of reasonable care” to have an AED on its premises. The district court dismissed the claim. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court certified the question of whether there is a common law duty to maintain AEDs on commercial properties to the California Supreme Court, which held that Target owned no duty to its customers to maintain AEDs in the store. Accordingly, the panel upheld the district court’s finding. AFFIRMED.

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