Law Practice Basics
General Practice Client Testimonials
Florida Bar Mandatory Ethics Disclosure: “Prospective Clients May Not Obtain the Same or Similar Results”
R.G., CPA Colorado 2018
“Thank you so much, for all your patience and efforts in resolving this issue for my mom and dad’s estates.”
J.B., M.B., Florida 2018
“We can’t thank you enough for going above and beyond to help us with our situation. God bless you.”
J.M., J.M., Florida 2019
“We don’t have words to express
how pleasing it is for us to have you working with us.”
Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A. │General Practice Attorney │ Office: 1360 S. Patrick Dr., Suite 1A, Satellite Beach, FL 32937
Attorney in Christ
Let me explain the white Attorney in Christ seal. By faith alone I received eternal life as a free gift from Jesus Christ. I strive to glorify Him in all that I do, including my law practice. In my life, I fall short of that goal at times, but I press on. God does not discriminate against people because of their race, faith, age, gender or any other factor. He loves everyone and offers the free gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. I enjoy praying with clients of like faith, and seeking God’s help in all that we do. Because God does not discriminate in His love, I do not discriminate in my legal practice. I answer my own telephone at 321.237.2869 and welcome your call. Mold Attorney │+Personal Legal Care+
Mold Law Practice
Special Note: During these Covid times, I am no longer doing mold litigation. I now seek peaceful resolutions without litigation. If you seek an attorney to represent you in court, please seek other legal counsel.
I am highly selective about the mold cases I accept. I decline far more mold cases than I accept. I have limited time and resources. A strong mold case requires expert opinions. To prove personal injuries, I prefer a medical doctor’s testimony that has examined you and rendered an opinion linking your personal injuries to mold. Not all physicians are willing to make such findings. Yet, they remain important for court proceedings to prove your case. Construction experts may also be required to prove why the construction caused certain defects that promoted mold growth. We may also need mold expert testimony about the types of mold present, and in what quantities. Because of the time and expense involved in most mold cases, I accept very few of them. I offer free initial consultations to hear about your case, but I do not offer legal advice until I accept through an engagement letter signed by both parties. I answer my own telephone at 321.779.1211 and welcome your call. Mold Law Attorney │+Personal Legal Care+
Basic Guide to Toxic Mold Law │ Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A.
Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A. dedicates this website to Toxic Mold Law. I offer the following guide as a basic overview of my personal process of dealing with mold issues and preparing mold claims. I am not offering legal advice here, but basic education about toxic mold law. Each case requires individual attention and the steps described below may not apply to your situation. Do not rely upon anything in this website for legal advice. I am not establishing a attorney-client relationship with you by your reading of anything on this website.
♦ Step One: Health Priority. Health issues always take top priority. Never neglect your health. If the place where you live or work has serious environmental hazards, go see your physician immediately. You may not know if you have mold or other environmental or indoor air quality issues without proper testing. But if you are experiencing respiratory or other health problems, go see your medical doctor immediately, even before the tests come back. You may need to see a specialist such as a pulmonologist, allergist, or other medical expert familiar with toxic mold diagnosis and treatment. If your physician advises you to vacate those premises immediately, then follow that advice. Be sure that your physician puts that important medical advice in writing. You now have evidence from a physician, preferably on the medical doctor’s letterhead, that you must leave the premises immediately for health reasons related to toxic mold exposure. I also suggest you contact an toxic mold attorney to help you leave those premises upon medical advice. Always follow the medical advice of your physician. I prefer a medical doctor to sign the letter, and not someone who does not have a license to practice medicine in the State of Florida. The physician’s testimony later will often prove very important. You may not need to leave the premises permanently, but if an unsafe condition exists, and your medical doctor advises leaving, then follow the medical doctor’s advice. The choice to leave and how to leave your work or home makes a big difference in how you leave and what you tell the Landlord, Employer, etc. Always seek legal advice before leaving he premises. Basic Guide to Toxic Mold Law │ Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A.
♦ Step Two: Document Everything. The moment you first see something that looks like mold, start taking pictures and videos of the area. If you notice discolored areas, soft spots in wood, tiles lifting, strange odors, moisture accumulating at the bottom of window sills, black stuff around air conditioning outlets, or anything else that does not seem right to you, start documenting what you saw, when you saw it, and how it affected you. Write down all the ways it affected your body and interfered with your activities of daily living. Take pictures and videos. If you noticed other people sneezing. coughing, or having any new or worsening health problems, write down what happened and when it started and progressed. Get more pictures and videos of the people and their symptoms (obtain written consents as necessary). Make sure your notes have dates, events, and witnesses for each entry you place in your log of events. If you have to spend money to fix things, please keep a record of each expense with receipts showing each item, the date, and the amount.
♦ Step Three: Mold Testing and Remediation. In Florida, mold testing can be performed in a variety of ways. In-home kits allow for people to take a sample and send it to laboratory for testing. I recommend getting a qualified and licensed mold assessor immediately. The mold assessor cannot be the same person or group that performs the mold remediation. They are separate licenses, and Section 468.8419(1)(d) provides that a mold assessor may not perform or offer to perform any mold remediation in any structure where the person or company performed mold assessment in the preceding twelve months. In other words, one professional assesses the mold problems, if any, and another professional must then remediate the mold problems. Often, the mold assessor and the mold remediator work together to some degree. For example, the mold assessor often outlines a plan of remediation. The mold remediator then works to resolve the mold problems. In some cases, extensive construction work may need to be done to solve the mold problems and damage, requiring other licensed contractors. Until the mold assessor issues a final report, based upon post-remediation testing, indicating that the premises no longer have a mold problem, the remediation has not been completed. Always let the licensed experts drive the process forward and to final completion. As always, document everything. At times, you may not be able to enter the area affected by mold until remediation has been completed. Do not go into mold areas without permission from the mold remediation experts and always use proper equipment. Often, the mold remediation team will be using negative air pressure to keep mold contaminants away from other parts of the structure. Mold containment plays a very important role. Basic Guide to Toxic Mold Law │ Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A.
♦ Step Four: Notice. In many cases, you will need to provide notice to someone about your mold problems. I recommend you have a lawyer help you provide proper notice. If you rent, then you must notify the landlord of the mold problems. You can find forms on the internet for giving a seven day notice to fix the problems with your rental premises. If you do not have a landlord, then you may still need to give proper notice to someone about the mold problem and offer them an opportunity to fix it. For example, a homeowner may have to give notice of a construction defect to the builder, roofer, or a subcontractor; or a condominium owner may have to notify the condominium board of the problems. If you later sell your home or structure, you may have to disclose the mold problem and show documentation of remediation.
♦ Step Five: Pre-Suit Preparations. Mold cases take careful preparation. I prefer to have solid expert testimony before I file suit in court. I like an expert report with nice pictures that tell a story of what happened and why it happened. At times, I use a team of experts to provide testimony concerning the mold, the affects of the mold, and the causes of the mold. Moisture intrusion causes mold, and the cause of that moisture intrusion can be a big deal in many cases and hotly disputed. Mold cases can become quite complex because one defendant may bring other defendants into the lawsuit. In some cases, you must comply with a statutory process of pre-suit notice before you can file a lawsuit. Keep documenting everything. Always be mindful of statutes of limitations, even if you rely on some means of tolling or extending the statute of limitations. Basic Guide to Toxic Mold Law │ Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A.
♦ Step Six: Settlement. I do not like to settle cases until my clients have reached maximum medical improvement, if they have personal injuries. Mold problems may cause bigger or chronic health problems over time. Some patience goes a long way. But, always be getting ready to file suit in court and have your documents, evidence, witness statements, expert reports, and all other information ready to go. Negotiate in good faith. At times, insurance coverage may be small or not available. You must be realistic about your settlement amount, and also realize that some of the settlement amount may have to be paid to people who provided medical services, expert witness reports, medical bills, and other costs associated with the case. Those costs can be quite large. If I take a case on a contingency fee, costs will always be extra and deducted before the client receives payment from the settlement amount after all costs are deducted from the settlement amount. In some cases, the client may have to pay some or all of the costs by depositing funds into my trust account.
♦ Step Seven: Litigation. You must be prepared to testify to what happened and how you have been affected. If you claim personal injuries, then often the other side will also seek an independent medical examination. Your medical history will be an important part of the lawsuit, and such suits take a long time in court, even years in court with hearings, depositions, and other court activities. At some point, mediation may be profitable for settlement. Many courts order the parties to mediation as they near trial. At trial, I always prefer experts to give personal testimony. Video depositions also can be very helpful. I make no guaranty about outcomes at any point. Mold cases have many pitfalls, and liability for personal injuries can be strongly contested. Property damage recovery may not mean you also recover for your personal injury. Even if you win big at trial, then the big loser may appeal. Nothing should be taken for granted, and good settlements always make sense, even after litigation has begun. Litigation brings stress for everyone involved and each plaintiff should count the cost before filing suit. Basic Guide to Toxic Mold Law │ Herbert L. Allen, Jr., P.A.
As above, I have my own preferences concerning mold cases. If you seek legal advice concerning a mold problem, please give me a call at 321.779.1211. I answer my own telephone. I am very selective about the mold cases I accept. If I decline your case, I am not expressing a legal opinion about the merits of your case. I have limited time and resources. Please seek an attorney with the time and resources to provide legal help.
Mold Testing Overview
Mold affects people differently. Some people may be exposed to the same moldy environment and each person may have a different physical response to the mold. Because individual responses vary, knowing what mold was present may make a difference later. Furthermore, just because some dark thing is growing in your bathroom does not mean it is mold. I always urge people to have mold testing performed to be certain you can prove mold was the culprit. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantify of mold have not been established.” The CDC also recommends that before mold testing begins, you ask the mold assessor who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting lab results. Interpreting the mold level analysis requires expert review of the contaminated area, understanding the buildings characteristics, and the factors that led to the present condition. I recommend that a licensed mold assessor, pursuant to Section 478.8413, Florida Statutes, perform a mold inspection. This expert must be properly licensed and may serve as a critical expert witness for mold reporting purposes. If possible and wise under the circumstances, be sure to have a mold test done before your leave the premises. If you are having medical issues, then never risk your health to obtain mold testing. Let the experts take proper precautions to perform the mold testing.
Free Consultation 321.779.1211
I offer a free initial consultation. I take very few mold cases, and I am highly selective about the cases I accept. I will likely decline your case, but I am not expressing any legal opinion about the merits of your case; I simply have limited time and resources. Keep contacting attorneys and you may find the legal help you need for your mold issues.
Attorney Personal Injury │ Toxic Mold
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