The family of Mark Zuckerberg’s security guard who died from a heart attack after walking up a steep hill is suing the Meta founder for wrongful death.
Rodney Medeiros, 70, was found with his hand on his chest while working a shift at Zuckerberg’s property at Kualoa Ranch in Kauai, Hawaii. He was rushed to hospital, and died later the same day.
He was working at the bottom of a steep hill on Pilaa Beach when it started to raining, forcing Medeiros to walk up the cliffside hill alone on August 4, 2019.
The heart attack the security guard suffered after attempting to climb the hill was so severe that it ripped a hole in his heart and he started to bleed out, according to his family.
After being approached by Zuckerberg’s security manager following his tragic death, Medeiros’ family was offered money to support funeral expenses. They declined.
But the next morning, they received a check for $7,500 as a contribution ‘given by Mark [Zuckerberg] and Priscilla [Chan].’
The family is now suing the Zuckerberg-owned company, Pila Land LLC, for negligence and wrongful death.
Ziba Medeiros, Rodney’s daughter, told Hawaii News Now: ‘It’s $7,500 for our father’s life. Is this supposed to make it OK?’
‘When he had that heart attack, it ripped a hole in his heart so he was bleeding out.’
Because of the intensity of the rain, staff was not able to pick up Medeiros via ground transport. He was found leaning against a tree holding his chest, just hours before he died.
Routinely, the retired sugar cane worker would be taken down the hill on a four-wheeler and would be brought back up the same way.
Medeiros’ heartbroken daughter said: ‘They would take him with a Kawasaki Mule and drive him to his post.
‘And then when his shift was over, they would go down and pick him up and bring him back up.’
A spokesperson for Zuckerberg’s family, Ben LaBolt, said on-site medic support was provided to Medeiros, who was transported to Wilcox Hospital.
The hospital’s cardiologist added that Medeiros’ heart attack was because of ‘the physical stress of climbing the hill was a substantial factor that caused the acute event.’
Michael Green, an attorney representing the Medeiros family, said it would have cost the ranch $1,000 to upgrade the tires on the four wheelers that would have transported him to the top of the hill.
‘It didn’t need to happen,’ Green said. ‘(He) wouldn’t have had to walk.’