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Carmen Y. Cartaya

Shareholder | ccartaya@smsm.com
Shareholder | Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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Carmen Cartaya is a shareholder in the firm's Ft. Lauderdale office. She is experienced in medical malpractice, general insurance defense, professional errors and omissions, maritime law, equine law, commercial litigation and long-term care litigation including the defense of nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, home health care and specialty long term care hospitals. She has also represented administrators and insurers in complex life and health insurance disputes.

Ms. Cartaya has extensive experience in maritime law having previously served for many years as General Counsel to the largest container leasing company in the world preparing leases and contracts and managing all aspects of litigation. She has defended major cruise lines against passenger and crew claims and represented concessionaires to the cruise industry for nearly four decades. Ms. Cartaya also handles cargo claims and in rem actions including arrests of commercial vessels.

Ms. Cartaya has been lead counsel in the defense of national class actions asserting non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act against national hospital companies and other class actions in U.S. District Courts. Her fluency in Spanish facilitates representation in matters concerning foreign contracts and policies of insurance.

She has authored various articles published in prestigious defense treatises and co-authored a chapter in trial techniques on the defense of psychiatric malpractice claims. Ms. Cartaya is a frequent lecturer in the areas of medical negligence and long-term care litigation and has also conducted mock trial presentations in the acute care and long-term care setting, focusing on medical documentation and its impact on litigation. She is also active in South Florida community affairs. Ms. Cartaya has served on the National Parkinson Foundation Board of Directors since 1994, now on the Emeritus Board.

Ms. Cartaya was awarded an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given by that organization. She is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in Florida, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and before the United States Supreme Court.

Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • National Parkinson Foundation Board of Directors, Emeritus Board, 1994-present

Successfully defended a maritime client against a former employee seeking $6 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Education

University of Miami, J.D., 1984

University of Miami, B.A., 1981

Admissions

  • Florida, 1985
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1993
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1986

Languages

  • Spanish