The ABCs of AEDs: Liability associated with having AEDs in your offices or job sites
A. No Duty to have AEDs
A contractor does not owe a duty to its employees or invitees to have an AED in its offices or jobsites or to have persons trained in the use of AEDs available on its premises. See L.A. Fitness International, LLC v. Mayer, 980 So.2d 550, 561 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008) (“there is no common law or statutory duty that a business have an AED on its premises.”); see also Sells v. CSX Transp., Inc., 170 So. 3d 27, 38 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) (holding that a railroad company did not have a legal duty to train its employees in the use of CPR and AEDs or to provide its employees with AEDs).
B. Duty to Employees & the Negligent Undertaking Doctrine
An employer, through its employees, has a duty to render basic first aid to an injured employee, but this duty does not require the employer to compel its employees to “administer medical care in the form of life-saving techniques that require training and/or certification”, such as CPR or the use of an AED. Sells, 170 So. 3d at 31. Thus, a contractor will not be liable for breach of its duty of reasonable care to an employee, by failing to administer CPR or use an AED on an injured employee suffering from cardiac arrest. Id.
However, the contractor may be subject to a claim for negligently rendering emergency medical services to an injured employee if the contractor attempts to care for a sick or injured employee but does so inadequately. See Sells, 170 So. 3d at 39 (quoting L.A. Fitness, 980 So. 2d at 560) (“Florida law requires that an action undertaken for the benefit of another, even gratuitously, be performed in accordance with an obligation to exercise reasonable care.”)). Pursuant to the negligent undertaking doctrine, if a contractor gratuitously undertakes to administer CPR or use an AED on an injured employee, the contractor may be subject to liability to an injured employee, for physical harm resulting from the contractor’s failure to exercise reasonable care in performing its undertaking (administering CPR or using the AED), if: (a) the contractor worsens the employee’s condition or causes the employee an affirmative injury; or (b) the employee suffers harm because the contractor’s undertaking (administering CPR or using an AED) causes bystanders to “rest on their oars” and refrain from rendering aid in reliance on the contractor’s undertaking. See L.A. Fitness, 980 So. 2d at 560.
C. Cardiac Arrest Survival Act ( Stat. §768.1325):
If a contractor voluntarily elects to purchase AEDs and makes such AEDs available for use in its offices and on its jobsites, the contractor is considered an “acquirer” of an AED, pursuant to subsection (3) of the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act. See §768.1325(3), Fla. Stat. This Act provides a contractor with immunity from liability associated with the use of AEDs, but only if the harm caused to a person (employee or invitee), through the use of the AED, was not due to: (a) the contractor’s failure to maintain and test its AED; or, (b) the contractor’s failure to provide appropriate training to its employees or agents, in the use of the AED, when the employee or agent was the person who used the AED on the victim. See §768.1325(3), Fla. Stat. However, a contractor can avoid compliance with the training requirement under the following three (3) exceptions: (1) the AED is equipped with audible, visual, or written instructions on its use (including any such visual or written instructions posted on or adjacent to the device); (2) the contractor’s employee or agent was not an employee or agent who would have been reasonably expected to use the AED; or (3) The period of time elapsing between the contractor hiring the person as an employee and the occurrence of the harm to the victim, was not a reasonably sufficient period in which to provide the training. See §768.1325(3), Fla. Stat.
Accordingly, a contractor can increase the likelihood of protection under the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act by purchasing AEDs that are equipped with audible, visual, or written instructions on its use (including any such visual or written instructions posted on or adjacent to the device), since this will exempt the contractor from meeting the AED training requirement. However, the contractor may not be immune from liability under the Act if it fails to maintain and test its AEDs. Specifically, the contractor may be subject to liability associated with the use of its AEDs, if the contractor causes harm to an employee or invitee, through the use of an AED, and the harm caused through the use of the AED was due to the contractor’s failure to maintain and test the AED machine that was used.
Additionally, if a contractor decides to acquire AEDs for its offices and job sites, Florida Statutes §401.2916 requires the Department of Health to inform the contractor of the scope and limitations of its immunity from liability provided under the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act. See §401.2916, Fla. Stat.
 An invitee is a person who is on the contractor’s premises (offices or job site) “by invitation, either express or reasonably implied, of the owner or controller of the property.” Breaux v. City of Miami Beach, 899 So.2d 1059, 1064 (Fla. 2005) (quoting Barrio v. City of Miami Beach, 698 So.2d 1241, 1243 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997)).
 Please note that there is currently no case law defining what constitutes “a reasonably sufficient period” of time under the Act.