NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Contractors Prey on Recent Victims

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"Ambulance-chasing" lawyers are less cliché than they formerly were because of bar association crackdowns, but fire truck-chasing contractors and "public adjusters" are still a problem — at least in Florida, where the state Supreme Court tossed out a "48-hour" time-out rule that would have given casualty victims space to reflect on their losses before being overwhelmed by home-restoration salesmen. Consequently, as firefighters told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in May, the contractors are usually "right behind" them on the scene, pestering anxious or grief-stricken victims. The Sun-Sentinel found one woman being begged to sign up while she was still crying out for her dog that remained trapped in the blaze.

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