Heart Attacks in Gyms

Gyms are one particular place where an automated external defibrillator (AED) should be present, however, different states have different laws about whether an AED is required at all gyms. For example, Florida does not have a law requiring AEDs in gyms, but many other states do. The one reason gyms are such an important place to have an AED available is because when someone is working out, their heart rate goes up as their heart has to work harder. It is very important that AEDs be available in gyms.

Determining the different circumstances of a case involving a heart attack in a gym can be difficult, so having an attorney on your side to guide you through the legal process is helpful and important. Although nothing will change the fact that the heart attack occurred, having an attorney to maximize compensation allows you to not worry about the frustrations of your case, and gives you the time and energy to recover.

Helping a Person Who is Having a Heart Attack

A person should always be concerned with helping someone who is having a heart attack, even if they are not qualified or trained to handle a heart attack.

It is easy to do the first thing in the chain of survival, which is to take out your cellphone and call 911. The second thing is equally easy, which is simply to start chest compressions. The third thing you have to do is determine if there is a defibrillator and, if there is, retrieve it. There may be a person nearby who is able to answer the question about the location of a defibrillator and is able to retrieve it before emergency medical services arrive.

Right to Damages

Cases involving heart attacks in gyms vary and depend on whether the law of the state the heart attack occurred in requires a gym to have an AED.

AED Legally Required

Written law and the standard of care under common law may require an AED in a gym. When someone has a heart attack at their gym, one of the things that indicates that a person has a case is if there was no AED present in the gym when state law says the gym is required to have an AED. Another sign that there is a case is when there is an AED available, but the battery was dead, no one retrieved it, or it did not work.

AED Not Legally Required

On the other hand, if the state laws do not require gyms to have an AED, but a family member died or was severely injured by a heart attack, a person can still sue. In many states, if there is no requirement for the gym to have an AED and a heart attack occurs, there is still a common law standard of care.

The attorney is then able to find an expert who will testify that in his or her opinion, even if an AED is not required in the gym, it should have had one anyway because heart rates are elevated in a gym. The standard of care under common law says that while there is no actual law that requires an AED in a gym, an expert may be able to give the opinion that this particular gym should have had an AED.

Fitness Trainers and Helping a Client

The duty to help a client falls on fitness trainers who act as independent contractors at a gym if their client has a heart attack. Fitness trainers are supposed to be trained in CPR and to deal with emergencies. Every state has different requirements for different levels of fitness certifications. Fitness trainers should be certified, even if they are independent contractors. The duty to help a client falls on fitness trainers, and it also falls on other employees at the gym.