Hurricane Irma damage: 4 tips for dealing with insurance claims

As Hurricane Irma plowed its way through most of the State of Florida on Sunday and early Monday morning, several people are starting to survey the damage to their homes and property. Insurance claims in connection with the damage caused by Hurricane Irma is projected to cost many billions of dollars.

Fulgencio Law is a Tampa law firm helping consumers through the claims handling process with their insurance carrier. The damage caused by Hurricane Irma will undoubtedly be extraordinary, and we hope insurance carriers will do right by their insureds. In our experience, however, that is not always the case, particularly during such large disasters. Here are four tips to consider in your hurricane property damage claims:

  1. Secure all applicable insurance policies: you may have a homeowner’s or renter’s policy, a separate flood policy, and an automobile or boat policy. It is important to locate and secure all of these policies. If you do not have access to them, your insurance carrier will (or should!) provide it to you.
  2. Document all damaged property: take photos and/or videos of all damaged property before attempting to repair or even minimize the damage. When the claim is filed initially, you may be asked to provide this evidence. Having this evidence I advance will go a long way in the handling of your claim.
  3. Contact your insurance carrier or agent as soon as possible: most insurance policies require the insured to promptly notify the carrier of the damage. You may even be penalized for failing to promptly notify the insurance carrier of the damage. It is important that you act as soon as possible.
  4. Protect damaged areas from continued damage and exposure to the elements: most policies require the insured to mitigate or minimize the damage. In essence, the insured is expected to take at least some action to not let the damage continue to increase. Cover broken windows, remove water-logged and other items form your home that may cause mold to spread. Document them and do not dispose of any property until your insurance carrier has had a chance to inspect it.

If you need help in the handling of your claim, please do not hesitate to contact our office via email ( or phone: 813.463.0123.

Florida Supreme Court Declares Medical Malpractice Arbitration Agreement Void

Florida Supreme Court Declares Medical Malpractice Arbitration Agreement Void. The case is Hernandez v. Crespo, 41 Fla. L. Weekly S625 (Fla. 5th DCA December 22, 2016).

A woman was 39 weeks pregnant and started having contractions. She was turned away from her doctor’s appointment and not seen because she was several minutes late. Her appointment was then rescheduled for four days later.  The day before the rescheduled appointment, the woman went into labor, and delivered her son stillborn.

Before she started being seen by her doctor, the woman had signed an extensive arbitration agreement. Under this agreement, she waived her constitutional right to a trial by jury, and agreed to have any certain disputes decided by the process of arbitration. Arbitration can be described as an out of court process used to resolve disputes between two parties. The arbitrator, instead of a judge and jury, reviews the case and imposes a decision that often legally binding on both sides and that can be enforced by the courts.

It is important to note that her husband never signed the agreement to arbitrate.  Under the agreement, after a lawsuit was filed, the defendants filed a motion with the court to take the case out of court, and into an arbitration proceeding.

The Florida Supreme Court recently reviewed the case and reminded us that to achieve the explicit purpose of remedying the alleged medical malpractice insurance crisis, the Florida Legislature specifically created the medical malpractice arbitration statutory scheme. The Court reiterated that it questions whether we still are in a medical malpractice crisis still. The Court first questioned this in Estate of McCall.

The legal issue in this particular case was not whether the arbitration provision was unconstitutional. Instead, the Court focused on whether the unilateral changes of the provisions in the statute and memorialized in the agreement, were in violation of Florida public policy.

The Court noted that that the medical malpractice arbitration scheme includes several fairness safeguard including, among other things, the defendant’s admission of liability, neutral arbitrators (including an administrative law judge) the defendant’s agreement to pay the arbitration costs and fees, the defendant’s responsibility for payment of interest on damages, joint and several liability of defendants and the right to appeal. But in this case, the arbitration agreement incorporated the statutory scheme to some extent, but then it cherry picked provisions that were more favorable to the defendants. Not exactly what we would call “fair.”

Fortunately, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that arbitration agreements that change the costs, award, and fairness incentives of the Medical Malpractice Act’s statutory provisions are against the legislature’s intent, they are void against public policy, because if parties can avoid the statutory provisions which are less favorable to them, that disrupts the balance of incentives that the legislature carefully crafted to encourage arbitration. The Court struck down the agreement, and allowed the parties to make their case in court.

Florida Statutes Section 715.07

Below is the full text of Section 715.07 of the Florida Statutes as displayed in the Official Internet Site of Florida’s Legislature:

715.07 Vehicles or vessels parked on private property; towing.

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Vehicle” means any mobile item which normally uses wheels, whether motorized or not.
(b) “Vessel” means every description of watercraft, barge, and airboat used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, other than a seaplane or a “documented vessel” as defined in s. 327.02.

(2) The owner or lessee of real property, or any person authorized by the owner or lessee, which person may be the designated representative of the condominium association if the real property is a condominium, may cause any vehicle or vessel parked on such property without her or his permission to be removed by a person regularly engaged in the business of towing vehicles or vessels, without liability for the costs of removal, transportation, or storage or damages caused by such removal, transportation, or storage, under any of the following circumstances:

(a) The towing or removal of any vehicle or vessel from private property without the consent of the registered owner or other legally authorized person in control of that vehicle or vessel is subject to strict compliance with the following conditions and restrictions:

1.a. Any towed or removed vehicle or vessel must be stored at a site within a 10-mile radius of the point of removal in any county of 500,000 population or more, and within a 15-mile radius of the point of removal in any county of less than 500,000 population. That site must be open for the purpose of redemption of vehicles on any day that the person or firm towing such vehicle or vessel is open for towing purposes, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and, when closed, shall have prominently posted a sign indicating a telephone number where the operator of the site can be reached at all times. Upon receipt of a telephoned request to open the site to redeem a vehicle or vessel, the operator shall return to the site within 1 hour or she or he will be in violation of this section.
b. If no towing business providing such service is located within the area of towing limitations set forth in sub-subparagraph a., the following limitations apply: any towed or removed vehicle or vessel must be stored at a site within a 20-mile radius of the point of removal in any county of 500,000 population or more, and within a 30-mile radius of the point of removal in any county of less than 500,000 population.
2. The person or firm towing or removing the vehicle or vessel shall, within 30 minutes after completion of such towing or removal, notify the municipal police department or, in an unincorporated area, the sheriff, of such towing or removal, the storage site, the time the vehicle or vessel was towed or removed, and the make, model, color, and license plate number of the vehicle or description and registration number of the vessel and shall obtain the name of the person at that department to whom such information was reported and note that name on the trip record.
3. A person in the process of towing or removing a vehicle or vessel from the premises or parking lot in which the vehicle or vessel is not lawfully parked must stop when a person seeks the return of the vehicle or vessel. The vehicle or vessel must be returned upon the payment of a reasonable service fee of not more than one-half of the posted rate for the towing or removal service as provided in subparagraph 6. The vehicle or vessel may be towed or removed if, after a reasonable opportunity, the owner or legally authorized person in control of the vehicle or vessel is unable to pay the service fee. If the vehicle or vessel is redeemed, a detailed signed receipt must be given to the person redeeming the vehicle or vessel.
4. A person may not pay or accept money or other valuable consideration for the privilege of towing or removing vehicles or vessels from a particular location.

5. Except for property appurtenant to and obviously a part of a single-family residence, and except for instances when notice is personally given to the owner or other legally authorized person in control of the vehicle or vessel that the area in which that vehicle or vessel is parked is reserved or otherwise unavailable for unauthorized vehicles or vessels and that the vehicle or vessel is subject to being removed at the owner’s or operator’s expense, any property owner or lessee, or person authorized by the property owner or lessee, prior to towing or removing any vehicle or vessel from private property without the consent of the owner or other legally authorized person in control of that vehicle or vessel, must post a notice meeting the following requirements:

a. The notice must be prominently placed at each driveway access or curb cut allowing vehicular access to the property, within 5 feet from the public right-of-way line. If there are no curbs or access barriers, the signs must be posted not less than one sign for each 25 feet of lot frontage.
b. The notice must clearly indicate, in not less than 2-inch high, light-reflective letters on a contrasting background, that unauthorized vehicles will be towed away at the owner’s expense. The words “tow-away zone” must be included on the sign in not less than 4-inch high letters.
c. The notice must also provide the name and current telephone number of the person or firm towing or removing the vehicles or vessels.
d. The sign structure containing the required notices must be permanently installed with the words “tow-away zone” not less than 3 feet and not more than 6 feet above ground level and must be continuously maintained on the property for not less than 24 hours prior to the towing or removal of any vehicles or vessels.
e. The local government may require permitting and inspection of these signs prior to any towing or removal of vehicles or vessels being authorized.
f. A business with 20 or fewer parking spaces satisfies the notice requirements of this subparagraph by prominently displaying a sign stating “Reserved Parking for Customers Only Unauthorized Vehicles or Vessels Will be Towed Away At the Owner’s Expense” in not less than 4-inch high, light-reflective letters on a contrasting background.
g. A property owner towing or removing vessels from real property must post notice, consistent with the requirements in sub-subparagraphs a.-f., which apply to vehicles, that unauthorized vehicles or vessels will be towed away at the owner’s expense.

A business owner or lessee may authorize the removal of a vehicle or vessel by a towing company when the vehicle or vessel is parked in such a manner that restricts the normal operation of business; and if a vehicle or vessel parked on a public right-of-way obstructs access to a private driveway the owner, lessee, or agent may have the vehicle or vessel removed by a towing company upon signing an order that the vehicle or vessel be removed without a posted tow-away zone sign.

6. Any person or firm that tows or removes vehicles or vessels and proposes to require an owner, operator, or person in control of a vehicle or vessel to pay the costs of towing and storage prior to redemption of the vehicle or vessel must file and keep on record with the local law enforcement agency a complete copy of the current rates to be charged for such services and post at the storage site an identical rate schedule and any written contracts with property owners, lessees, or persons in control of property which authorize such person or firm to remove vehicles or vessels as provided in this section.
7. Any person or firm towing or removing any vehicles or vessels from private property without the consent of the owner or other legally authorized person in control of the vehicles or vessels shall, on any trucks, wreckers as defined in s. 713.78(1)(c), or other vehicles used in the towing or removal, have the name, address, and telephone number of the company performing such service clearly printed in contrasting colors on the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle. The name shall be in at least 3-inch permanently affixed letters, and the address and telephone number shall be in at least 1-inch permanently affixed letters.
8. Vehicle entry for the purpose of removing the vehicle or vessel shall be allowed with reasonable care on the part of the person or firm towing the vehicle or vessel. Such person or firm shall be liable for any damage occasioned to the vehicle or vessel if such entry is not in accordance with the standard of reasonable care.
9. When a vehicle or vessel has been towed or removed pursuant to this section, it must be released to its owner or custodian within one hour after requested. Any vehicle or vessel owner or agent shall have the right to inspect the vehicle or vessel before accepting its return, and no release or waiver of any kind which would release the person or firm towing the vehicle or vessel from liability for damages noted by the owner or other legally authorized person at the time of the redemption may be required from any vehicle or vessel owner, custodian, or agent as a condition of release of the vehicle or vessel to its owner. A detailed, signed receipt showing the legal name of the company or person towing or removing the vehicle or vessel must be given to the person paying towing or storage charges at the time of payment, whether requested or not.
(b) These requirements are minimum standards and do not preclude enactment of additional regulations by any municipality or county including the right to regulate rates when vehicles or vessels are towed from private property.
(3) This section does not apply to law enforcement, firefighting, rescue squad, ambulance, or other emergency vehicles or vessels that are marked as such or to property owned by any governmental entity.
(4) When a person improperly causes a vehicle or vessel to be removed, such person shall be liable to the owner or lessee of the vehicle or vessel for the cost of removal, transportation, and storage; any damages resulting from the removal, transportation, or storage of the vehicle or vessel; attorney’s fees; and court costs.
(5)(a) Any person who violates subparagraph (2)(a)2. or subparagraph (2)(a)6. commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) Any person who violates subparagraph (2)(a)1., subparagraph (2)(a)3., subparagraph (2)(a)4., subparagraph (2)(a)7., or subparagraph (2)(a)9. commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Health Complications Following a Car Accident

Car wrecks are one of the most common causes of long-term injuries in the United States. Many heath issues caused by a car accident can linger for many years and, in some cases, can last a lifetime. In this article, the six most common issues will be discussed.

Neck Trouble
Whiplash (the jarring back and forth of the neck) can permanently harm the vertebrae within the neck. Neck mobility may be dramatically lowered, and pinched nerves can lead to full body paralysis if not treated quickly. Even if you do not feel pain immediately after the accident, it is important to make sure your neck is checked out after a car accident.

Spinal Issues
Herniated disks can happen in the neck, but they often show up in your back. Spinal damage can lead to whole body pain and numbness. Some treatments are complicated and require fusing two pieces into one. Simple activities like sitting down for more than 15 minutes, walking and jogging may never again be the same. Even if you do not feel pain immediately after the accident, it is important to make sure your back is checked out after a car accident.

Broken Bones
Fractured bones are usually easy to spot, and often manifest in immediate pain in the affected area. But that is not always the case. Some bruises can conceal broken and cracked bones – particularly in the ribs, fingers and toes. Watch out for excessive swelling and discoloration.

Skin Lacerations, Cuts and Bruises
Surface wounds require a unique kind of care to stave off infections and scarring. It is crucial to schedule return visits to your medical provider so that these injuries can be closely monitored. These recurring appointments can detect embedded glass and other debris. Surgical extraction is often needed to eliminate the internal presence of crash site debris.

Brain Damage
Cranial impacts can create lasting instances of trauma. Concussions and other closed head injuries can remain a recurring problem for life, and dormant mental disorders can be triggered by head trauma. The brain is composed of incredibly sensitive tissue, so expert neurological care is recommended for successful rehabilitation.

Internal Bleeding
Sometimes, tears in the flesh, muscles and other internal organs are hidden beneath the skin, which is why it is important to check for signs of internal bleeding. Lungs can be punctured after impact with the steering wheel, which leads to several respiratory emergencies. Digestive organs can slowly drain blood without being noticed after forceful impact. These issues can lead to severe, lasting injuries and even death if left unattended.

Final Note and Conclusion
The key to recovery following a car accident is continuous treatment. Do not neglect regular clinical visits and with consistent care, a full return to health is possible.

What To Do If Your Car Was Towed

Florida has enacted important legislation regulating the towing of vehicles from private property. In Tampa, aside from Florida Statute 715.07, towing companies must abide by the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission Rules. In Pinellas County, towing companies have to follow the rules set forth in the County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 122.

What Makes a Tow Improper?

First, before a vehicle can be towed from a parking lot with more than 20 parking spots, there must be a posted sign at every entrance to the property. If anyone entrance to a property did not have the required sign, or the sign was not very visible or hidden, your car may have been towed illegally. The sign must also contain very specific language, and state the name and phone number of the towing company responsible for the tow. If the sign does not do this, or has the wrong information, you may have been illegally towed.
Your car cannot be taken too far from the point where it was towed. In Hillsborough County, that distance is about 10 miles. In Pinellas, the distance is about 15 miles.

There are also very specific rules about what you can and cannot be charged. In Hillsborough County, that charge is $115 plus $5 per full mile driven for most vehicles. In Pinellas, the charge is $100, plus $3.00 per mile.

While an explanation of each and every improper charge would be too long for the purposes of this article, and they also vary between different counties, excessive and improper charges may mean that you were illegally towed.

If you request the return of your vehicle and too much time goes by before it is released to you, you may have been illegally towed.

If your car is towed and damaged in the process, you may have a lawsuit against the towing company. If you see the towing company towing your car and you ask them to stop, and they try to charge you more than half of the amount allowed in that county, you may have a lawsuit against the towing company.

There are several other requirements under the statute, so it is important that you contact an attorney who is familiar with this area of law to guide and advise you of your rights in this situation.

There are exceptions, such as when a vehicle is blocking a driveway or entrance or interfering with a business’ normal operation. Most of the time, even if you believe the tow was illegal, the best course of action is to not argue, pay the amount demanded (get a receipt!) to avoid more fees. Towing companies are allowed to charge for storage of the vehicle, so the longer the vehicle is at the tow lot, the more it will cost to get the vehicle back. If too much time goes by and the vehicle is not retrieved, the towing company may sell it to pay for the towing fees.

What Can You Do?

If you are in doubt about whether your vehicle was towed away illegally, call our law firm now. We consistently accept cases involving the wrongful or illegal towing of vehicles. Consultations over the phone or in-person are free and, in most cases, there is no out of pocket cost to you. Please contact Fulgencio Law today to speak with attorney Felipe Fulgencio or attorney Bryan Giribaldo. We serve clients in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and throughout Florida.

Why Is My Lawsuit Taking So Long?

Why Is My Lawsuit Taking So Long? We hear this complaint quite often from our clients who have suffered injuries as a result of the negligence of others. Unfortunately, from the date of the accident until a resolution is reached (either through a settlement or a trial), it is not uncommon for a couple of years to go by.

The attorneys at Fulgencio Law always explain the process to each client during the initial client meeting, and this includes explaining why a final resolution may take some significant time. The process is often slow and frustrating. One of the reasons why so much time can sometimes pass before a resolution is reached is because large corporations and insurance companies operate under the notion that time is on their side. As a result, we often see efforts on their part to delay, stall and slow the process down as much as possible. Their reasoning is twofold. First, the longer insurance companies like GEICO, State Farm, Farmer’s, Allstate and others onto their money, the more interest they are able to accrue on the money. Second, in their view, injured claimants will begin to lose faith in the process, will begin to doubt the validity and severity of their own claims, and will often be in such dire straits as a result of the accident that they will accept a lower settlement just to get money for the bills that continue to pile up, usually as a result of loss of wages and expensive medical treatment.

Before a lawsuit is filed, it is common to attempt a pre-litigation resolution with the insurance company. There are several steps that are important to be followed in this process and each one can take some time. For an automobile accident, the first step post-accident is to request a copy of the Police’s or Sheriff’s investigation or accident report. We also request a copy of the at fault party’s insurance policy. Insurance companies are required to provide this information under Florida Statutes Section 627.4137, but they have thirty (30) days to do so.

Once the claimant has completed medical treatment, our firm will evaluate the case based on settlement value and likelihood of success and recommend a settlement amount to the client. When injuries are severe, it may take doctors and medical providers years to reach a point where they can “finalize” the patient and provide what is known as MMI (maximum medical improvement). MMI means the point where the client will not get better as a result of treatment.

At this point, we will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If a fair settlement offer is made and accepted by the client, the claim is closed and the client receives the financial compensation he or she deserves. If a fair settlement offer is not made, then the case will move forward and enter the litigation (lawsuit) stage.

After the Lawsuit is Filed

Once we file a lawsuit on behalf of our client, we will arrange for the lawsuit to be served on the Defendant (the person who caused or who is responsibility for the accident, or, in some situations an insurance company). The Defendant will then have twenty (20) days to file a response to the lawsuit. After that, the lawsuit will enter a period called “Discovery.” In the discovery period, the parties will attempt to discover information about the other side. Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions, Request to Produce, Subpoenas and Depositions are common discovery tools used by both plaintiff and defendant in the discovery process. The discovery period can take several months and to years to complete depending on the case.

Once discovery is complete, the case will be set for trial. Depending on the court’s workload, it can take six (6) or more months to get on the trial calendar. The trial will take place in front of a jury of six (6) people, who will then decide the fate of the case. If the jury decides for the plaintiff, there will be a monetary assessment of the value of the loss.

A lawsuit is usually the only legal option for a claimant to recover compensation for his or her injuries. Therefore, it is extremely vital a claimant exercise patience during this sometimes lengthy but important process. It is our experience that patience is often rewarded with higher settlements or higher jury verdicts than early-on settlement offers.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, please feel free to call our firm for a free consultation .

Should You Give a Recorded Statement?

Shortly after an accident occurs, the adjuster working for the at-fault driver’s insurance company will begin to investigate the accident. As part of this investigation, you may be asked to provide a recorded statement concerning your car accident.

The most important fact to know about this request is this: you do not have to provide the insurance company an opportunity to do this. The insurance adjuster cannot deny the claim based upon a denial to provide this statement. It is possible that the recorded statement will be used against you at a later point. In most cases, the adjuster’s goal will be to find any weakness in your story and use it against you to either deny the claim or lower the offer of compensation to you. It is possible that the recorded statement will be used against you at a later point.
Although it is generally a bad idea to agree to be subject to a recorded statement without an attorney, if you are represented, a recorded statement in the presence of your attorney is far less likely to harm your case. If you do decide to give a recorded statement, please keep the following things in mind:

1. Ask that the statement not be recorded.
2. Answer the question asked concisely and precisely, and avoid rambling.
3. Avoid giving an explanation unless you are asked for one.
4. Do not argue with the adjuster.
5. It’s ok to say “I don’t know.” Avoid guessing. If you cannot provide an estimate, then do not do it. If you must guess, use educated guesses. Explain that the answer is a guess.
6. Speak slowly and coherently.
7. Tell the truth.
8. Avoid absolutes such as “always” and “never”.
9. Do not admit partial or complete fault.
10. Do not sign anything or accept a quick settlement unless an attorney has reviewed it.
11. If you are dealing with your own insurance company (generally, in the context of an Underinsured or Uninsured claim, or perhaps a PIP claim), it is very likely that you will be required to give a recorded statement based upon the insurance policy. It is best to ensure an attorney is present to protect your rights.

Fulgencio Law, PLLC represents clients who have experienced losses as a result of the car accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of such an accident, please contact our office as soon as possible and speak with attorney Felipe Fulgencio. We offer free consultations.

Tampa Floods Lead to Thousands of Car and Home Damage Claims

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere at any time. The constant rain Tampa Bay experiencWestshore Floodeded during the past few days (or is it weeks?) has lead to a record number of flood-based and water damage claims for motor vehicles and homes. It is estimated that half a billion dollars of losses have been claimed as a result of the recent floods. Entire towns, such as Elfers,Fla., were evacuated, and many roads were closed. At one point, even Tampa International Airport closed.

The average amount of rain in Tampa during the month of August, according to US Climate data, is just below 8 inches. During the first four days of August, some area in Tampa Bay got as much as nine inches of rain. That’s a month of rain in less than ninety-six hours. Unfortunately, the ground was already saturated from the heavy rain the area experienced during the month of July.

If you need help with your claim for water damage, whether it is a car that flooded, water entered your home, or another type of water damage loss, it is important to ensure you have appropriate legal representation to ensure your claim is fully compensated.

Fulgencio Law, PLLC represents clients who have experienced losses as a result of the recent flood. If you or a loved one has filed a claim, or would like help in filing a claim, please contact our office as soon as possible and speak with one of our attorneys, Felipe Fulgencio or Bethany Wharrie. We offer free consultations.

Fulgencio Law files lawsuit against Busch Gardens Theme Park on behalf of man who lost part of his finger (amputation) on Serengeti Safari Ride

On December 12, 2014, our client was enjoying Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Sarafi open-air ride. When the driver of the vehicle improperly negotiated a turn, the vehicle struck a 7-foot eucalyptus pole, crushing and severing a part of our client’s left ring finger. Busch-Gardens-Giraffe-encounter

As a result of the accident, our client has suffered debilitating, permanent injuries. His young daughter was a witness to the accident, and remains psychologically affected by the traumatic incident. Unfortunately, despite the seriousness of the injury, Busch Gardens chose not to do the right thing, and never offered to resolve our client’s injury claim, or to even pay for his medical bills. So, to protect our client’s rights, our firm had no other choice but to file a lawsuit here in Hillsborough County.

A key component of this lawsuit will be proving the park’s negligence – showing that the accident and injury suffered by our client was avoidable, but occurred as a result of Busch Gardens’ carelessness. If negligence is shown, the park will likely be held financially responsible for the injury and the costs associated with it. Each year, millions of people, many of them foreign tourists, visit one of Florida’s many theme parks. Although the parks are generally safe, the number of injuries sustained at these facilities is on the rise. If you or a loved one suffered an injury at Busch Gardens, Sea World, or another theme park in Florida, call Fulgencio Law for a free consultation at 813.463.0123.

Fulgencio Law files first state court lawsuit in Florida against Lumber Liquidators

On June 23, 2015, Fulgencio Law, PLLC attorneys Bethany Wharrie and Felipe Fulgencio filed the first state court laswsuit in Florida against Lumber Liquidators for the unsafe levels of formaldehyde found in its flooring. Fulgencio Law Toxic-sign-articlerepresents a family who purchased Lumber Liquidators’ flooring from one of Lumber Liquidators’ Hillsborough County stores. After the family had the flooring installed in their home, the family’s youngest member, a two year old child, developed signs and symptoms of formaldehyde exposure including sore throat, coughing, congestion, headaches, itchy eyes, fatigue, stomach pains and vomiting. After watching CBS News’ 60 Minutes’ segment regarding the unsafe levels of formaldehyde found in Lumber Liquidators’ flooring, the family decided to have their home tested. They contacted Lumber Liquidators who sent them an at home test. The family performed the test and sent it back to Lumber Liquidators per its instructions.

After a month passed with no response from Lumber Liquidators regarding the formaldehyde test, the family hired a private company to test the flooring and air in their home. The test results indicated that the Lumber Liquidators’ flooring had formaldehyde levels ten times the targeted levels and the family’s home air had formaldehyde levels four times the targeted levels. The family immediately moved out of their home and stayed with relatives until the Lumber Liquidators’ flooring was removed from their home and replaced with safe flooring. Since moving out of the house and replacing the flooring, the family’s two year old child has not has any more symptoms of formaldehyde exposure.

ABC Action News has a short piece on the issue, which can be seen here:

Anyone who has purchased or installed Lumber Liquidators’ flooring and is concerned about possible formaldehyde exposure can contact Fulgencio Law at 813.463.0123.

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