Is this mold in my home their fault?
October 20, 2006 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Do I have a case? Mold in the home and cable installation:

I know you are not my lawyer, and I will take nothing you write as legal advice. But if I were to call one, do you think I might have a case against the company that installed cable in my home about three years ago? This is a photo of how they wrapped the cable around the outside corner of my house:
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Behind that area where the flashing is lifted up, which happens to be my bedroom, there is mold rising up 3-12 inches above the baseboard for about 3-4 feet in either direction of that corner. I have not yet had an inspection or scheduled removal, as I just discovered the problem, but my best guess as to where the moisture is coming in would be that corner. Might I have a case against my cable company? If you have questions, please email moldonymous AT gmail DOT com.
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Lawyers will generally have a consultation with you in regards to whether you have a case, and/or whether he wants to take the case. In the experiences I've been part of or know of, the consultation is free.

You're probably going to have to engage a structural engineer or a specialist to inspect and make a professional determination as to where the mold is originating and that's going to determine whether or not a lawyer is even needed.
posted by jerseygirl at 10:38 AM on October 20, 2006

"might I have a case" questions are exactly the kind of things a lawyer won't answer for you without an attorney-client relationship (or a potential relationship).
posted by footnote at 10:50 AM on October 20, 2006

Well by scheduling a consultation, the implication would include the potential of a relationship.
posted by jerseygirl at 10:58 AM on October 20, 2006

Not trying to bust your bubble here but... whether you have a case or not probably hinges on how well you'll be able to document the fact that the flashing didn't look like that before the cable company did their work, and that nothing has changed in the 3 years since.

If you can't document those items, my guess is that you're most likely SOL.
posted by deadmessenger at 11:01 AM on October 20, 2006

And even if you do have a case, the lawyer isn't going to take it pro bono, and the cable company can afford to stretch it out indefinitely and wait for you to bail out due to cost. You are going to have to weigh your out of pocket costs for repair (maybe just your home owners deductible?) vs the cost of litigation.

A relative went though something similar with mold due to builder negligence. He spent six figures on lawyers and finally settled for half of what he spent on legal fees. The civil court system is unfortunately stacked strongly in the favor of corporate America.
posted by COD at 11:07 AM on October 20, 2006

Well by scheduling a consultation, the implication would include the potential of a relationship.
posted by jerseygirl at 1:58 PM EST on October 20 [+fave] [!]

Yeah, that's right -- there's a certain degree of atty-client relationship formed at the first consultation. That's why the mefi lawyers wouldn't respond to this question, at least the most cautious ones: because they want to avoid forming that relationship and the responsibilities that follow. A simple disclaimer ("I am not your lawyer") may not be enough. Here's an interesting article about giving legal advice online.

Lawyers might be comfortable discussing very general problems without worrying about whether they have formed an atty-client relationship, but red flags go up when a poster asks about whether she has a claim, like this post does. Nobody wants to be responsible for advising her she DOESN'T have a claim without knowing all the facts (which you couldn't get online without losing atty-client privilege), then the statute of limitations runs out, then she discovers she does have a claim, then she sues you for malpractice.

So anyway, I better get back to providing legal advice for my own employer!
posted by footnote at 12:22 PM on October 20, 2006

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