Verdugo v. Target Corp.Annotate this Case
Mary Ann Verdugo died after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest while shopping at a Target department store. Target did not have an automated external defibrillator (AED) in its store. Plaintiffs, Verdugo’s mother and brother, filed suit against Target Corporation, alleging that Target breached its duty of care to Verdugo by failing to have within its store an AED for use in a medical emergency. A federal district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, concluding that Target had no duty to have in its stores an AED for the use of its customers. When the matter came before the court of appeals, the court asked the California Supreme Court for guidance on the question of California tort law presented by this case. The Supreme Court answered that, under California law, Target’s common law duty of care to its patrons does not include an obligation to acquire and make available an AED for the use of its customers in a medical emergency.