Since there is lots of desperation and fake news out there regarding this lawsuit I am posting the official decision in its entirety. Judge Lee's ruling was a huge victory for me, despite anyone claiming just the opposite. From the outside looking in this could be viewed as a "split decision" in terms of denying them a summary judgement, while granting their motion to remove my blog.
However, like most legal matters, the big picture comes down to how much time and money you invest and what outcomes that creates. For me that process has been fun, educational, inexpensive and fruitful. My blog was going to be taken down anyway, so being told to do it now does not hurt me one bit. If not for this frivolous lawsuit being filed, the blog would never have existed in the first place. I would have moved on from the past and forgotten about it long ago. Instead the desire to "teach me a lesson" and use the court system to bullying me has totally backfired. I uncovered the truth about lots of things my adversary wanted to keep hidden and in so doing have an arsenal of evidence I cannot wait to share in court.
Meanwhile the denial of summary judgement means this lawsuit moves forward and will require an actual hearing to sort out. That means even more time and money they must expend to even have a chance at a victory. By the time this matter goes to trial (if it ever does) their legal fees will undoubtedly exceed the amount we are even fighting over. Furthermore, no evidence I owe any money has yet been produced. The exaggerated victory from last year was a hearing I declined to attend. Thus there was no need for them to produce evidence or prove anything to "win". It was a simple default judgement against a non-existent LLC. In simple terms, an LLC and individual are two different entities. To represent an LLC in this matter, by law you must hold a Florida law license. You can imagine the cost for me to hire an out of state lawyer, fly to Florida and attend a hearing. That made no sense given the business never made any money, had no assets and closed a long time ago. So my three choices were A) waste all that time and money to defend a non-existent company from a frivolous claim B) Go to Florida and be told that without a law license I could not even open my mouth C) do nothing (but laugh, and believe me that's exactly what I did). Had they chosen to hold that hearing against the LLC and me personally, I certainly would have been there. As the decision below eloquently shows, their lack of evidence precludes a summary judgement and trying to "roll over" the same decision from an LLC to an individual is not how the law works. I will get my day in court, whether they like it or not! Then I will file my own (much bigger) class action lawsuit right back and the shoe will be on the other foot.
So you want to start a biohazard business and might be wondering if a franchise is the answer? I think the first answer to that question is to ask what the benefits are:
If I asked you to name 5 franchises that sell hamburgers, cell phones or tools most people probably could. Names like Burger King, AT&T or Home Depot are easy to remember and have been around for years. You know what you are getting in terms of quality and price. So when a new location open up they are guaranteed a certain level of business. That is what makes the name valuable and their blueprint for success worth following.
Well, how many biohazard cleanup franchises can you name?
None? If so, that is your first reason for not needing to spend tens of thousands of dollars for the right to inherit a name nobody has heard of.
Perhaps you have been told about big national accounts that will guarantee you are busy from day 1?
Yeah right! I'm sure something as obscure as cleaning up a dead body is right there on the vendor list for every apartment complex and police station in the country. They will just call you and pay whatever stupid, exorbitant price you charge them. The reality is most companies will clean it themselves or search online to find a local company. They don't like doing business with big out of state franchises that will rip them off. Those companies large enough to actually have a vendor probably have several. They may still call around to check prices, search online or be required to get several bids before making any decisions. Don't believe me? Well, give it a try like I did and then you can tell me I'm wrong.
How about all that specialized training and equipment you just can't do without?
Take an online course or two, do some research, ask your local janitorial supplier and take your time. Most of what I know came from doing jobs, not listening to some expert teach me common sense. Most of what you are cleaning gets thrown away. Does that require any special skill? Most of the chemicals and equipment are familiar to anyone that works as a janitor in a hospital or apartment complex. Biohazard cleanup is far more about having the balls to actually clean nasty stuff, not access to some high tech solutions or techniques.
Don't know how to build a website or do the marketing?
100% of my business is referrals from people I met in person. I keep busy because I work hard and charge fair prices. All anybody really wants to know is the price anyway. They don't care about your training and experience, the name on your business card or how big and important you claim to be. As for websites, these stupid blogs about how to clean something are just a poorly disguised sales pitch. They give zero good advice and just make it seem too dangerous or difficult to clean yourself. Therefore you must pay them a king's ransom to do it for you. The crime scene cleanup market didn't even exist 50 years ago. Do you think nobody ever died before then? Did they just burn the house down to solve the problem? They got by just fine without some idiot charging $1,000 per hour and so can you. Yes you need to wear some protective gear, be thorough, follow a few simple laws/protocols and perhaps locate a biohazard transport company. Do you really think the EPA is going to throw people in jail for wiping up some blood without a special license?
What should you do instead if you want to get into this industry?
First work for somebody else to see if you actually want to do this for a living. If so, then save up about 10K and start your own business. There are no shortcuts to becoming a millionaire in the biohazard industry. No software, chemicals, equipment, brand name or so-called experts can assure your success. Anyone that tells you different is lying and probably doing something illegal.
Any more questions?
Give me a call and I will help anyone, anywhere at no cost. I cannot discuss specific companies, people or markets (yet). However, I also won't be trying to sell you anything, badmouth anyone or brag either. Good luck finding that level of honesty elsewhere! YOU ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY DO NOT NEED TO BUY A FRANCHISE TO START A BIOHAZARD CLEANUP COMPANY.