Stephen G. Mellor is a partner in the Deerfield Beach office of Roig Lawyers.
He joined the firm in 2008 and concentrates his practice in PIP/No-Fault litigation, bodily injury and premises liability. Stephen is experienced in the interpretation of out-of-state insurance contracts, including the application of Canadian and other substantive state law to Florida insurance claims. He also handles complex cases involving admiralty and maritime issues.
Stephen’s handling of out-of-state policy cases includes medical providers requesting First Party Benefits for services rendered to patients who were involved in automobile related accidents and who have been treated in Florida. Often medical providers attempt to have Florida law apply to the out-of-state policy.
Stephen has been successful in regularly persuading the Courts (in Doctrine of Lex Loci Contractus or “Choice of Law” provisions) that the law of the jurisdiction, where the contract was executed, governs the rights and liabilities of the parties in determining an issue of insurance coverage. As such, he has used his knowledge in studying the various No-Fault statutes throughout the United States to successfully defend these cases. Stephen has also provided consultation on defending cases in other States where lawsuits were filed and Florida No-Fault law was being applied.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Stephen built a successful career as a business executive where he served as a regional general manager for Colombian Emeralds International, a large Caribbean-based jewelry retailer while living in the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
Experienced in real estate management, he was President of a land development and real estate company in Freeport, Bahamas. In this capacity, he acted as legal liaison and risk manager for many real estate transactions.
Stephen gained an introduction to insurance defense law while working as an associate with Rudd & Diamond, P.A. prior to joining Roig Lawyers.
He is a native of Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas.
- Northwood Sports Medicine and Physical Rehab. (James Krumenacker) v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co.; County Court of Palm Beach County, Order Granting Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment entered by Honorable Reginald L. Corlew; September 16, 2011. “Exhaustion.” Defendant insurer’s Motion for Final Summary Judgment granted based on exhaustion of benefits pre-suit and finding that State Farm did not act in bad faith. The Court held that State Farm was not required to set aside a reserve fund for services that are denied or reduced as it would be unreasonable and detrimental to the insured.
- Hallandale Beach Orthopedics, Inc. (Monette Bonhomme) v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co.; County Court of Broward County; Final Judgment for the Defendant entered by Honorable Linda Pratt; August 4, 2011; “MRI Re-read.” Hallandale Beach Ortho. submitted bills to State Farm for the re-reading of two MRI scans. State Farm had previously paid the technical and professional component of these MRIs to another provider. State Farm argued that it was not responsible for the re-read having already paid, and that the readings (CPT 72141 and 72148) were unbundled from the more comprehensive evaluation code of CPT 99244 and should not be paid separately. State Farm relied on the No Fault statute itself which provides that insurers are not required to pay for unbundled services, and the Physician’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) book which is referenced in F.S. 627.736(5), and which provides that review of diagnostic tests is included in CPT 99244 as part of the complexity of medical decision making. State Farm submitted an affidavit of coding expert, Connie Coleman in support of its position. The Plaintiff failed to produce counter evidence on the issue of coding and argued expert testimony was not warranted. The Court agreed with State Farm’s reliance on the CPT book and agreed the re-read was included in the evaluation code and Plaintiff had unbundled the charges. Final Summary Judgment entered in favor of State Farm. This Summary Judgment was affirmed on Plaintiff’s appeal by the Circuit Court sitting in its Appellate Capacity.
- North Lauderdale Chiropractic Center, Inc. (Carline Simon) v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company; County Court of Broward County; Final Judgment for the Defendant entered by Honorable Robert W. Lee; June 7, 2011; “Demand Letter.” Defendant’s Motion for Final Summary Judgment was granted because the Plaintiff’s pre-suit demand letter included a service (CPT 99215 for $300.00) which was not received during the claims handling process and prior to receipt of the pre-suit demand letter. State Farm advised the Plaintiff of this issue before it filed suit and a new demand letter was not sent. Plaintiff filed suit and Defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the Plaintiff failed to strictly adhere to the requirements of F.S. 627.736 (10) and did not seek or specify the exact amount due. The Court agreed and held the Plaintiff failed to meet a necessary condition precedent to suit and granted State Farm’s Motion for Final Summary Judgment.
- Gary Simmons v. M/V Lady Katherine, et al , U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. “Admiralty/ Maritime Salvage Lien”. Stephen was successful in negotiating a substantial settlement for the Plaintiff, Gary Simmons who was a professional salvage master who had rescued a luxury yacht from sinking after it had run aground of Freeport, Bahamas. Filing both an “in rem” action against the vessel and an “in personam” action against the owners of the vessel, this case was vigorously litigated in both the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi before being settled.
Awards & Rankings
- AV® Preeminent™ Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Florida Super Lawyers: Rising Stars (2015); (2016); (2017)
- The Osram Sylvania Scholarship Award was awarded to Stephen by Salem State University’s Bertolon School of Business. This award is given to those who have achieved the highest grade point average in their concentrations.
- Florida Bar, Member
- Federal Bar Association, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, Member
- Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, Member
- Broward County Bar Association, Member
- Presenter, “Will You Have Coverage If You Cross The Line? Out of State Policy Defense Strategies,” 26th Annual Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC), June 2018
- Presenter, “Out of State Policy Handling and Defense Strategies,” Safeco, June 2016
- Presenter, “Out of State Policy-Handling and Defense Strategies,” Liberty Mutual, April 2016
- Speaker, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Law- Law Center Plus Seminar Series on The Balancing Act: Managing Work & Life in a 24/7/365 world, January 2015
- Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center Mentoring Program, Mentor
Admitted to Practice
- Florida, 2007