In 2008, Mary Ann Verdugo passed away after suffering a heart attack while shopping at a Target store in Pico Rivera, California. Her family sued Target for not having an automatic external defibrillator (AED) on site — a device, they claim, could have saved Ms. Verdugo’s life. The lawsuit has now made its way up the judicial chain and, earlier this month, the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the question of whether retail stores like Target should be required to carry AEDs in their stores.
We are frequently called upon to advise and defend our retail clients in legal matters relating to their status as “public accommodations” under a variety of federal and state laws. These matters can range from dealing with disgruntled customers who claim they were discriminated against by store employees, to defending clients who are being sued for violating the accessibility requirements for individuals with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar laws.
In a recent decision, the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio rejected ADA claims against JPMorgan Chase, finding that the company had reasonably accommodated the plaintiff during an extended period that included both intermittent and continuous FMLA leave. Johnson v. JPMorgan Chase & Co. No. 2:11-cv-00373-EAS-EPD (S.D. Ohio, February 6, 2013).
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