Functioning AEDs Save Lives

By Peter DePaolis

Washington, D.C. injury lawyer Paulette Chapman, along with Washington, D.C. injury attorney Kelly Fisher and Maryland injury lawyer Justin Beall recently settled a premises liability lawsuit involving the failure of a large convention hotel to have an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) available for use in cases of sudden cardiac collapse due to disruption of the rhythm of the heart.

An AED is a portable electronic device that can audibly prompt the user and deliver an electric shock that will give the heart a chance to spontaneously re-establish an effective rhythm. Attorneys Chapman, Fisher, and Beall were able to show that had a working AED been provided to a hotel guest within minutes after his collapse, his heart rate would have been restored and he then would have survived.

A study published in 2000, titled Outcomes of Rabid Defibrillation by Security Officers after Cardiac Arrest in Casinos, found that if an AED is applied within three minutes, a person’s chance of survival is 74 percent. This study is cited extensively by the American Heart Association. At five minutes, the survival rate is over 50 percent if a working AED is applied.

For more information about cases involving AEDs and the need for defibrillators in areas of public access, please contact Paulette Chapman at, or reach out to our office online.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.