February 2012 Archives

February 23, 2012

Broward County Florida Courthouse's Toxic Mold Alleged to be Cause of Employees' Illnesses

Allegations contained in lawsuits from 19 past and present employees who worked in the Broward County courthouse claim toxic substances in the building are have made them sick. The injured employees claim the courthouse, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is contaminated with toxic mold and asbestos.

The plaintiffs are being represented by former state Senator and attorney Skip Campbell who stated in a newspaper article that he believes Broward County has, "totally neglected this courthouse." Allegedly, the downtown Fort Lauderdale courthouse has toxic fibers and mold in the air. These dangerous materials are exposing both employees and the public to health risks. Attorney Campbell is quoted as saying the county is, "...not doing their job."

The plaintiffs who have been exposed to the alleged toxic substances are seeking medical care, financial compensation and asked that all employees be removed from the alleged sick building.

Two years ago the Broward County commissioners were in agreement to destroy the 50 year-old building and construct a new $328 million dollar courthouse. However, the new building remains in limbo while potential new exposure claims are pending.

At a public hearing held two years ago attorney Howard Pomerantz said that, "People are afraid to go in there," and that, "I can't imagine how people who are considering becoming judges in the future feel, putting their health at issue coming in to this building." Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs said, "Everybody agrees it's a sick building." Clerk of Courts Howard Forman said before the commission's "yes" vote (to rebuild the building) that, "it hasn't been maintained well. I mean, that's no secret."

In the article, Broward County officials advised the newspaper that the courthouse is a, "safe place to work" and that documents filed by the County with the court denies the presence of asbestos and toxic mold.

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February 16, 2012

Florida Workers' Compensation Fees

Recently, an injured employee from Miami, Florida called seeking advice about an injury she suffered in Broward County, Florida. After speaking with this very nice woman for a few minutes, I realized one of her main concerns was how she was going to pay for an attorney's services. Apparently, following the filing of the workers' compensation incident form by her employer, she began receiving letters from attorneys offering their services. When she called one of the attorney's offices she was told she would have to pay a fee to speak with a live attorney, but that in doing so this attorney would be able to get her all kinds of benefits. I advised her that we never charge a consultation fee and we don't make promises without even speaking to a potential client. I explained how we work on a contingency fee basis; that means we don't take any money from a client as an up-front charge and we only get paid if we win your case.

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