Ex-Charger Dies Amid Uncharged AED Controversy

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Q: Are health clubs required to have working AEDs on site?

In the movies, we often see a victim clutching his chest and falling as a team of rescuers jump into action, grabbing and placing paddles on his chest and yelling “clear” as he is shocked back to life. Cue the happy ending.

An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is a portable device that can be used to deliver an electrical shock through the chest to the heart to help save those experiencing an unsynchronized heart rhythm while emergency medical workers are on the way. These lightweight devices don’t involve the paddles you might see in the larger and more sophisticated hospital defibrillator machines, but rather easy-to-use peel and stick patches with simple instructions.

A non-medical person can be trained to use an AED which assesses the victim’s heart rhythm and advises the rescuer whether or not to deliver the shock based on a computerized assessment of whether the heart rhythm requires defibrillating or not. The assessment of whether to shock or not is accurate 90-95% of the time.

Since AED technology, in combination with CPR, is so effective at saving lives, that legislation has been passed in many states requiring placement of the devices in many public areas, including schools and health clubs. In California, gyms are required to have and maintain AEDs and to train their workers in the proper use of them.

In June, 2016, former San Diego Chargers football player, Pulu Poumele, was the unfortunate victim of a cardiac arrest incident while at a 24-Hour Fitness facility, collapsing on the basketball court after playing a game. Reportedly, the gym staff was unable to initially locate an AED during his cardiac incident and once they did finally find one, it was not charged. Unfortunately, his story ends tragically with his death. His family believes it was a wrongful death  that would have been prevented if the AED was readily accessible and had been maintained and charged. It isn’t known if the staff was trained in how to properly use it.

If a loved one has been killed as a result of the negligent, reckless or intentional actions—or inactions—of someone else, of course nothing will bring them back. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can help you recover desperately needed financial compensation for such items as funeral expenses, medical bills, lost income provided by the decedent, and more, so you can begin to put the pieces of your life back together as you grieve this unexpected loss.

J&Y Law Firm offers compassion and guidance to clients throughout California who are dealing with the anger and upheaval of a loved one’s wrongful death. Call us today at (888) 806-6722 for a free consultation.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.