Alton gym sued after man suffers heart attack

Andrea Dearden Jan. 19, 2012, 8:00am


An Alton gym is accused of failing to provide basic care to a man who allegedly suffered a heart attack and collapsed while working out.

Court-appointed guardian Cindy Rice, on behalf of Trent Rice, filed a lawsuit on Jan. 3 in Madison County Circuit Court against Athletes in Action LLC, doing business as Nautilus Fitness Center.

Rice was at Nautilus Fitness Center in Alton in June 2009 when he collapsed suddenly. According to the complaint, Rice had suffered a cardiac arrest while working out at the Industrial Drive gym.

Rice says the facility owed its patrons a duty of ordinary care but failed to provide that. Nautilus Fitness allegedly had no employees on duty able to provide CPR, rescue breathing or basic first aid to Rice during Rice's heart attack.

The gym was equipped with an automated external defibrillator, according to the complaint. However, Rice claims the device had not been property tested and did not have the required manuals. There were also allegedly no employees at Nautilus Fitness trained to operate the defibrillator.

Rice contends the gym's lack of action constitutes negligence and violates Illinois law. As a result, Rice "suffered severe brain and heart damage," the complaint reads.

Cindy Rice is asking to be awarded more than $50,000 in damages on behalf of Trent, along with court costs.

Attorney Bob L. Perica of Wood River is representing Rice.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-10

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