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California top court to decide defibrillator issue

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Are large California retailers required to have a device on hand to treat customers who fall victim to sudden cardiac arrest?

The California Supreme Court is taking up that question on Tuesday during oral arguments.

At issue is a Southern California family's wrongful death lawsuit against Target stores. Mary Ann Verdugo died of cardiac arrest in 2008 in a Pico Rivera Target store.

Her family argues that her life might have been saved had the store had an automatic external defibrillator on hand to shock her heart back to beating. Target and its allies argue that requiring retailers to do anything more than call 911 during medical emergencies is an unfair and expensive burden.

The court has 90 days to rule.

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