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Can I Sue in Massachusetts if a Business did not Have a Defibrillator and my Spouse Died of a Heart Attack?

Wrongful Death / Automatic External Defibrillator

As a Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawyer, Attorney DelSignore has encountered many Wrongful Death cases involving companies who do not have—but are required to have—Automatic External Defibrillators on site.

What if the organization had an AED but did not know how to use it?

If a company, business, fitness center, church, or other organization has an AED on site but does not know how to use it, or was not trained on its operation and use, they can be liable for wrongful death for negligently failing to use the AED, for negligently failing to train, and for failing to comply with applicable statutes. This can depend on whether the parties acted with gross misconduct or willful negligence. It is a difficult standard, but it can be won at trial.

What about at school – is my child protected by any AED statutes?

Massachusetts law 71 § 54C requires AEDs in all schools. If your child has been injured as a result of school faculty or staff not using an AED, or not administering CPR in an effective manner, they may be liable to you for any damages caused.

Are health clubs and fitness centers also required to have an AED?

According to Massachusetts law 93 § 78A, health clubs and fitness centers should also have an AED on site. Having a law that requires an AED is a good indication that those in charge should use one in an emergency – so when they do not use one, or do not have training to do so, they could be liable to you if you are further injured because of it.

The elderly are protected too – and anyone who is at a place that provides anesthesia or sedation.

Think of all the places that can provide anesthesia or sedation – nursing facilities, dental offices – there’s a law for that! MA Code of Reg § 150.002 and MA Code of Reg 234 § 6.15 tell those places to protect clients with an AED. These Codes also require someone at the particular facility to be trained on the use of the AED, and all have “Good Samaritan” laws when it comes to the use of these devices, or the implementation of lifesaving protocols.

Does a “Good Samaritan” law mean someone is not liable if they harm me or a loved one during a life-saving event?

Yes and no. If someone does attempt to help you who is not required by law to do so, they are not necessarily liable, unless they act with gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct resulting from the attempt of that care. So, depending on what happened, there still may be liability attached to that person.

At DelSignore Law, we can help YOU!

Attorney DelSignore is an experienced Massachusetts lawyer who frequently works with clients who have been further injured in the administration of emergency care, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation or defibrillation. He understands the stress and emotional toll you might be feeling, and how scared you may be for yourself or a family member. He is available, 7 days a week, to explain to you the process regarding filing a lawsuit against bad actors and to inform you of any steps you should be taking. Contact us today.

To read more about Massachusetts laws regarding AEDs, you can check out the statutes below.

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A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
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