Awards & Recognition

Michael S. Smith is a highly accomplished medical malpractice attorney with over 37 years of dedicated experience in the legal field. He is renowned for his unwavering commitment to securing justice for individuals who have suffered the devastating consequences of medical malpractice including Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis, Failure to Diagnose, Radiology Mistakes, Surgical Errors, Anesthesia Errors, Childbirth Injuries, and Nursing Home Negligence. Michael’s exceptional legal career spans a wide range of practice areas, but his passion and proficiency in medical malpractice cases have truly set him apart.

Michael’s unwavering dedication to these specialized areas within medical malpractice law has truly set him apart in the legal field. His expertise, combined with his relentless pursuit of justice, has led to numerous legal victories that have profoundly impacted the lives of his clients.

In 2023 and again in 2024, Smith was named to the Best Lawyers in America list, a prestigious recognition earned through a rigorous peer-review survey comprising more than 7.8 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys. Such recognition by Best Lawyers® symbolizes excellence in practice.

In 2022, Smith was also honored to be named to the South Florida Legal Guide’s Top Lawyers List, as published by South Florida Business & Wealth Magazine. The South Florida Legal Guide is a widely respected source of top legal professionals, categorized by practice area, in the South Florida region. Candidates are nominated and voted on by their peers after an in-house evaluation of accomplishments and other key credentials.

With an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell® and recognition as a “Top Lawyer” by the South Florida Legal Guide, Michael’s reputation as a distinguished legal professional is firmly established. His expertise and relentless pursuit of justice have led to numerous legal victories that have profoundly impacted the lives of his clients.

Drawing from his invaluable experience as a former defense attorney, Michael possesses a unique insight into the inner workings of Florida’s hospital systems, physician groups, and insurance carriers, particularly concerning their management and claims decision-making processes in significant and catastrophic injury cases. This deep-seated knowledge equips him with a strategic advantage when advocating on behalf of those who have suffered due to medical negligence.

Before joining the esteemed team at Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman, Michael served as an equity partner at Sonneborn, Rutter, Cooney & Smith P.A. in West Palm Beach, FL. His decision to return to his first passion of litigating medical malpractice claims demonstrates his unwavering dedication to championing the rights of individuals facing the life-altering consequences of medical errors.

Legal Victories

La Vista and Smith Win $3.54 Million in Arbitration in Medical Negligence Case

Attorneys Nancy La Vista and Michael S. Smith won a $3,079,966.33 arbitration award plus $461,994.95 in attorney’s fees for their clients for the wrongful death of a wife and mother of five.

On March 6, 2019, the patient presented to the hospital and was admitted. Despite a pending consult and severely abnormal blood work, the hospitalist discharged the patient.

Having worsened, the patient returned to the hospital. She was then erroneously diagnosed. Although transferred to an Orlando facility for treatment and the correct diagnosis made, it was too little too late. The patient died on March 20, 2019.

Nancy La Vista and Michael S. Smith represented the Personal Representatives on behalf of the surviving spouse and the four surviving children under 25. Sadly, Florida law prevents surviving children over the age of 25 from bringing a wrongful death claim as a result of medical malpractice.

At arbitration, the attorneys were able to demonstrate the devastation caused to this young family before the victim’s death.

Four Year Battle Results in Multi-Party Confidential Settlement for Wrongful Death of Only Child

Attorneys Mark W. Clark, Michael S. Smith, and Jennifer A. Dinetz brought a wrongful death case against twelve corporate defendants, involving the general contractor, subcontractors and the owner/developer, on behalf of a mother and father whose only child was killed in a violent construction site accident. The case involved an epic battle in both State and Federal Court establishing liability, resolving damages between the defendants and resolving coverage disputes among the parties.

Due to the complexity of the case it was necessary to retain accident reconstruction, metallurgist, and construction safety experts to analyze the physical evidence from the scene, extensive construction documents, and deposition testimony of corporate representatives, supervisors and construction workers involved in the project.

Ultimately, after a four-year battle, a confidential global settlement was reached on behalf of the estate and surviving parents, holding the at-fault parties accountable for the tragic, violent, and preventable death of their son.

A confidential settlement was reached by Attorney Michael Smith with a healthcare provider for unnecessary surgery.

The plaintiff fell at her home while doing yard work and sustained a left elbow radial head fracture. Because of the severity of the fracture, surgical intervention was necessary. Unfortunately, the surgery resulted in permanent numbness and tingling in the median nerve distribution, which affected the thumb and index fingers and prohibited her from engaging in typical daily activities. As a result of the botched surgery, our client underwent multiple additional surgeries. She was never able to improve the loss of use in her hand and fingers that originated after the initial surgery. Multiple experts were retained and suit filed against the healthcare provider alleging the surgery should have never been performed and that it was not performed correctly. The case successfully resolved for a confidential amount, which will compensate the plaintiff for future medical needs and loss of her working ability as a health care provider – a position she held prior to her injury for more than 16 years.

A confidential settlement was achieved by Attorney Michael Smith and Partner Nancy La Vista in a medical malpractice claim whereby the patient was left paralyzed below the waist.

After back surgery, the patient bled into his spine which went undiagnosed too long such that the proper treatment was ineffective. The resolution of the litigation will allow the patient and his family to obtain future medical care and be financially secure.