The Alex Miller Law Requires Defibrillators at School Athletic Events

March 31, 2020Legal Alerts

The Alex Miller Law Requires Defibrillators at School Athletic Events

On March 25, 2020, Governor Jim Justice signed into law House Bill 4497, which shall be known as The Alex Miller Law. The Alex Miller Law will take effect June 5, 2020, but the mandated requirements do not take effect until the 2021-2022 school year.

Alex Miller, was a Roane County football player who collapsed and died during a high school football game.

The Alex Miller Law (W. Va. Code 18-5-25c) requires defibrillators (AED devices) at certain events by the 2021-2022 school year. Specifically, the law provides that:

(b) By the 2021-2022 school year, the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission shall require that an automated external defibrillator device, as well as a posted emergency action plan, be present on the school or event grounds during the duration of all athletic events and practices under the control, supervision, and regulation of the commission, and that appropriate school sports personnel be trained in the use of the device.

The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, as required by The Alex Miller Law, will be proposing rules for promulgation by the West Virginia State Board of Education.

Although the 2021-2022 school year is in the future, counties should begin exploring purchasing and funding options for what will be a number of required AED devices (which also take time for delivery). Schools should already have in place emergency action plans, since those were required by W. Va. Code 18-2-25b, which was passed in 2017, and were required to be in place before the 2017-18 school year.

Should you have any questions on this issue or others, please contact a member of Dinsmore & Shohl's Education practice group.