Behind the Scenes

Should Fitness Clubs Be Required to Have a Defibrillator on Site?

According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, 14 states require health clubs to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on site.

In California this week, the family of Hollywood executive Mark Palotay filed a civil suit against Sun City Fitness Gym alleging negligence and wrongful death. At the center of the suit is a dispute over an AED, its presence and club personnel trained to use the device.

California has a 'Good Samaritan' clause clearly designed to protect health club employees and managers in the event of a death if the club is abiding by the laws. 

The benefit of having an AED and its life-saving capabilities on site seems obvious, even if the law itself can easily be interpreted as an overreach of state power.

This case made me think of two questions as I researched the law at the center of the suit:

  1. Should states require fitness clubs to have an AED on site?
  2. If your club is not in one of the 14 states, how important is an AED and training staff in its use?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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