A recent case form the Miami Division of the Southern District of Florida, addresses a hotel’s liability when a guest suffers a heart attack while working out in the hotel’s fitness room. Court papers reveal George De La Flor was a guest with his family at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach Hotel located in Miami Beach. Most unfortunately, he suffered a heart attack while exercising in the hotel’s fitness room. Exercising next to Mr. De La Flor was a surgeon who immediately came to his aid. Though a defibrillator was located on hotel property, none was in the fitness room. A nearby boy went in search for the defibrillator, but had to delay his search to call 911 as no one from the hotel alerted the Miami Beach paramedics. Without a defibrillator, the surgeon performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (“CPR”) until the paramedics arrived. Mr. De La Flor survived the heart attack, but was left with permanent injuries.
Mr. De La Flor filed a lawsuit in Miami, Florida. The essence of his lawsuit is as a guest of the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, the hotel owed him the basic duty to ensure that in the event of a medical emergency it had the basic equipment necessary to assist him. Specifically, Mr. De La Flor argued the Ritz-Carlton South Beach breach its legal duty by failing to: (1) have a readily accessible defibrillator; (2) bring a defibrillator to the fitness room once it knew he was in danger; (3) call 911 within a reasonable time; (4) train its employees to timely deploy the defibrillator located onsite; and finally (5) escort Miami Beach Fire Rescue to him in an expeditious manner when they arrived on scene. The Court rejected all of Mr. De La Flor’s arguments.