George O. Mitchell, II
Mr. Mitchell obtained his Juris Doctor degree from St. Thomas University School of Law in 2007 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Presbyterian College in 2004. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2007 and is also admitted in the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida.
Prior to Mr. Mitchell’s employment with Shmuely & Willis, P.A., Mr. Mitchell was employed with insurance defense firms from 2007 through 2016. In particular, Mr. Mitchell worked with Rudd & Diamond, P.A. from 2007 through 2009 focusing his defense practice on personal injury, including premises liability, products liability, negligent security, and automobile/trucking accidents, as well as first-party coverage disputes concerning homeowner’s policies.
From 2009 through 2016, Mr. Mitchell was employed with Fowler, White, Burnett, P.A.’s Maritime and Insurance Defense practice group. He assisted with the representation of major marine insurers, cargo carriers, vessel owners, cruise lines, charterers, shipping companies, and marina and terminal operators ranging from marine coverage disputes to the defense of personal injury claims brought by passengers and crew members. More specifically, he defended vessel collision accident cases resulting in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury, including claims where operating vessels struck swimmers.
Mr. Mitchell successfully defended a cruise line operator at trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, arising from a passenger slip and fall claim for personal injury. He has represented various boat dealerships, vessel owners, and ship repair facilities in product liability and negligence claims related to malfunctioning vessels, including claims based on (1) defective steering systems resulting in adults and minors being ejected from the vessel while underway and personal injury; (2) improperly designed hatches and doors resulting in amputated fingers and other injuries; (3) faulty fuel pumps, battery switches, battery chargers, and other electrical components resulting in vessel fires; (4) operator error with respect to hydraulic lifts and jack stands resulting in wrongful death or catastrophic personal injury; (5) commercial and recreational diving accidents; and (6) breach of warranty. Mr. Mitchell further represented various marinas arising out of negligent security claims where customers’ vessel, including luxury yachts, were stolen from local marinas by organized third-party criminals for use in human smuggling from Cuba.
Additionally, while at Fowler, White, Burnett, PA, Mr. Mitchell also focused his practice on defending non-maritime personal injury and property damage claims arising from premises liability, construction, and automobile accidents. He successfully defended a vehicle towing company at trial in Miami-Dade County that had allegedly caused damage to its own customer’s vehicle. In Hill v. Ross Dress for Less, Inc., No. 12-23368-CIV-SEITZ/SIMONTON, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168011 (S.D. Fla. Nov. 26, 2013),
Mr. Mitchell obtained summary judgment for his retail store client in a slip and fall claim pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division. He also successfully defended various banks in numerous slip/trip and fall accidents and negligent security cases where customers had been robbed or assaulted by third-party criminals. Mr. Mitchell has also represented various construction contractors in claims related to personal injury.
Mr. Mitchell has handled numerous significant insurance coverage disputes during the course of his practice, including in the areas of (1) trucking accidents resulting in catastrophic injury and wrongful deaths, including deaths of minor children, with millions of dollars in exposure wherein the insurer of the alleged negligent trucking operator declined coverage based on material misrepresentations in the trucking operator’s insurance application; (2) various vessel fires and sinkings concerning multi-million dollar vessels wherein coverage under the hull and machinery policies are disputed due to the actions or omissions of the vessel owner; and (3) marine general liability coverage disputes arising from marine contractors performing work on a customer’s property, such as pile driving or dock construction, resulting in personal injuries or property damage.
After defending insurance companies and their insureds for eight (8) years, Mr. Mitchell joined Shmuely & Willis, P.A. in the spring of 2016 to begin his career representing injured plaintiffs and policyholders in claims against insurance companies.
Reported or Published Decisions
Hillv. Ross Dressfor Less, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168011, Case NO. 12-23368-CIV-SEITZ/SIMONTON (S.D. Fla. Nov. 26,2013)
McPherson v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 292 F.R.D. 695, Case No. 13-CIV-20545-MOORE/TORRES (S.D. Fla. 2013)