With 20 years of civil litigation experience and an equity shareholder, Michael Garcia regularly litigates cases in State and Federal Courts, as well as in alternative dispute resolution forums. His practice includes the defense of a wide variety of claims, with particular emphasis on premises liability and personal injury matters. He also handles general liability, professional negligence and wrongful death claims. Michael represents leading businesses across diverse industries and he serves as local counsel to numerous nationwide retailers.
Born and raised in Miami, Michael grew up in the family restaurant business and as part of his practice now defends restaurants, including national brands and franchises.
Michael handles a wide array of matters, including drafting and reviewing lease agreements for retailers, restaurants, landlords and other entities with a special focus on premises liability issues. Michael also handles disputes involving franchise agreements or between franchisors and franchisees.
In the maritime industry, Michael handles personal injury and wrongful death suits filed by passengers, crew and offshore workers of commercial and private vessels. He also litigates other maritime-related claims, including commercial disputes, liens and vessel seizures, cargo damage and collisions.
Michael also practices in the products liability arena with a special focus on pharmaceutical products liability. He has represented pharmaceutical companies including generic manufacturers involved in MDL proceedings, from the time of the decision to petition for MDL status through the multi-month trial and settlement of "bellwether" plaintiffs. He conducts depositions, develops expert testimony concerning causation and damages issues, and engages in motion practice and oral argument to eliminate opponents' causation experts on Daubert grounds.
Representative Legal Matters
- Tried and defended major cruise line in federal jury trial involving a passenger fall alleging serious injuries and extensive lost wages and earning capacity. Pre-suit and pre-trial demand of $500,000.00. After trial, jury deliberated for less than two hours and returned a verdict of less than five figures for Plaintiff, finding Plaintiff 90% at fault for his own alleged damages.
- Obtained summary judgment for a national retailer in a highly contested premises case with over a dozen depositions of Defendant representatives including a Federal Opinion finding no liability against client retailer for alleged premises defects retailing to a slip and fall on items within the retail store.
- Settled premises liability defect claim alleging unleveled and defective concrete sidewalk outside national bank branch with over $80,000.00 in medicals for nominal amount. Case involved a fractured elbow with significant medical treatments including surgery.
- Obtained summary judgment for retailer in a Federal claim alleging trip and fall over table with concealed table legs. Case involved over 10 depositions, expert testimony, and involving a manufacture of the table located overseas.
- Settled for nuisance value (less than four figures) premises case against retailer involving seriously injured minor falling off shopping cart.
- Settled for nuisance value (less than four figures) Federal Court premises claim against retailer involving trip and fall on loose merchandise on floor of store.
- Countless settlements and resolutions of over hundreds of premises cases against retailer, restaurants, landlords, hotels, property managers, maintenance companies and landowners.
- Obtained summary judgment for a restaurant chain in a premises liability matter where two adults alleged significant injuries from using the restaurant's children's playground.
- Obtained $585,000 settlement for a Utah Bank after filing suit in federal court of claims related to smuggling by Mexican individuals and entities of three bank-owned vessels.
- Obtained favorable settlement for Boat U.S. after filing suit in federal court regarding a vessel collision off Cape May, New Jersey.
- Represented two brothers with co-counsel in a complex commercial fraud matter that resulted in a $1.3 million jury verdict after a 10-day trial in West Palm Beach, Florida.
- Represented local excavating company with co-counsel in a breach of irrevocable real property license matter that resulted in a $650,000 jury verdict after a 7-day trial in Miami, Florida.
- Defended a major department store retailer sued for premises liability defects and reached nuisance value settlement.
- Successfully defended concrete testing company against allegations of its failure to properly test concrete
- Obtained favorable settlement for interior yacht designer in a suit filled by a major league baseball player whom refused to pay the vessel re-design invoice.
- After prolonged litigation, obtained summary judgment for major retailer on premises liability matter filed by a plaintiff claiming significant injuries.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Council on Litigation Management
- National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association
- American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee
- American Bar Association, Section of Litigation
- The Florida Bar, Business Law Section
- Florida and National Restaurant Associations
- Dade County Bar Association
- Cuban American Bar Association and Italy-America Chamber of Commerce
- National Italian American Foundation, Florida Chapter
- Maritime Law Association of the United States
- Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
- Alpha-Sigma Nu - Jesuit National Honor Socety
- Speaker and Presenter, “Premises Liability Practical Tactics and Defense Strategies,” Travelers Insurance (Orlando), June 20, 2017.
- Presenter, "Premises Liability," CLM Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, August 20, 2013; September 24, 2014; August 18, 2015
- Speaker, "Litigation 101," Council of Litigation Management, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015
- Presenter, "Premises Liability Litigation" RIMS, 2010, 2012
- Speaker, Annual Conference, Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, 2005