ERISA and Insurance
Mr. Cork is often employed to obtain coverage in a wide variety of insurance
disputes. He has taken a leadership role in the fight
to defend other lawyers' clients against reimbursement requests under
Request a questionnaire for a review of an ERISA reimbursement issue.
Published Texts and Articles
- Where Do We Stand After Sereboff?, SideBar,
ATLA New Lawyers
Division Newsletter, Fall 2006.
- A Lawyer’s Ethical Obligations
When the Client’s Creditors Claim a Share of the Tort Settlement
Proceeds, 39 Tort Trial
& Ins. Practice L.J. 121 (Fall, 2003).
Valder Law Offices v. Keenan Law Firm,
212 Ariz. 244, 129 P.3d 966 n.13 (2006);
Attorney Grievance Comm. of Md. v. Stolarz,
379 Md. 387, 842 A.2d 42 (2004).
Ethical Considerations in Settlement Fund Disbursements and Third-Party
Calendar Call, Winter, 2003, p. 5.
- Complete Compensation Comes Full Circle,
The Verdict, Winter 1999,
- ERISA Reimbursement after Montanile, MTLA Breakfast Meeting, February 25, 2016.
- ERISA and FEHBA, GTLA Auto Torts Seminar, July 26, 2012.
- Update on ERISA Reimbursement, GTLA, 2011 Essential Torts Workshop,
February 25, 2011.
- ERISA Reimbursement & Legal Ethics, Arizona Association for Justice,
The Trial Lawyers' Annual Lien Seminar, January 28, 2011. The mind map for the Arizona seminar is
- ERISA Liens: The Ultra Hazardous Hidden Peril, Cobb County Trial Lawyers
Association CLE, November 6, 2009.
- A Lawyer's Ethical Obligations When the Client's Creditors Claim a Share of the
Tort Settlement Proceeds, GTLA Annual Seminar, April 16, 2009.
- ERISA Subrogation Claims, ICLE General Practice and Trial Institute Seminar,
March 12, 2009.
- ERISA for Plaintiff's Personal Injury Lawyers, GTLA Holiday Seminar,
December 12, 2008.
- Don't Lien on Me, ICLE Plaintiff's Personal
Injury Seminar, October 28, 2006.
- Where Do We Stand After Sereboff?, Cobb CountyTrial Lawyers Association,
September 13, 2006.
- Where Do We Stand After Sereboff?, Middle Georgia Trial Lawyers Association,
September 6, 2006.
- ERISA Reimbursement and Legal Ethics,
GTLA Annual Holiday Seminar, Atlanta, December 10, 2004.
- Settlement Ethics, ICLE Insurance Law Seminar, St. Simon’s Island,
September 26, 2002.
- OCGA § 33-24-56.1 and Complete Compensation in
Georgia, GTLA “Don’t Lien on Me” Seminar, Atlanta,
October 12, 2001.
- What Happens When There is not Enough to Go Around. The Status of the Complete
Compensation Rule, GTLA Seminars, Atlanta, June 9, 2000, May 6, 2000,
and August 13, 1999.
Representative Appellate Cases
- Elem v. Airtran Airways, Inc.,
Case No. 14-1061 (January 25, 2016)
(granting the writ; vacating the decision of the Eleventh Circuit
in Airtran Airways, Inc. v. Elem, 767 F.3d 1192 (11th Cir. 2014),
which had erroneously held that, in seeking reimbursement of medical
expenses following a tort settlement, an ERISA-governed plan could obtain
a money judgment for the full amount against its insured and the insured's
and remanding for further proceedings in view of the result in a
- King-Morrow v. American Family Ins. Co.,
334 Ga. App. 802 (2015)
(reversing judgment for uninsured motorist insurer due to ambiguity in
notice-of-claim provision in policy).
- Nelson v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co.,
Case No. A15A0231 (unreported) (July 15, 2015)
(reversing judgment for uninsured motorist insurer based on insurer's
argument that it imposed pre-suit obligations to give notice not merely
of the potential claim, but of all compensatory damages.)
- McGraw v. IDS Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co.,
323 Ga. App. 408 (2013)
(holding that a motor vehicle liability insurer must provide uninsured
motorist coverage in amounts equal to the limits of liability coverage
unless the insured "affirmatively" chooses a lower amount, and that the
insured's inaction upon receipt of declarations pages showing a lower
amount did not constitute an affirmative choice).
- Thompson v. Allstate Ins. Co.,
285 Ga. 24 (2009)
(allowing an injured person to proceed against his uninsured motorist carrier
despite contention that, in view of settling his claim and his wife's consortium
claim, his claim alone did not exhaust the tortfeasor's liability limits).
- Fountain v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am.,
297 Ga. App. 458 (2008)
(establishing that worker who could do light duties of his work but not heavy
duties was entitled to recover on disability policy that defined disability in
terms of being unable "to perform all of the material duties of his/her occupation").
- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina v. Carillo,
372 F.Supp.2d 628 (N.D.Ga. 2005)
(holding that ERISA does not allow plans to seek reimbursement as "appropriate equitable
relief"), affirmed after Sereboff in
Popowski v. Parrott,
461 F.3d 1367 (11th Cir. 2006)
(holding that BCBS's claim was properly dismissed because the plan's language did not
seek a specific fund of money, but instead sought a level of reimbursement that could
be much higher than settlement proceeds)
- Gordon v. Atlanta Cas. Co.,
279 Ga. 148 (2005)
(reversing the Court of Appeals and requiring uninsured motorist policies to cover the
rights of insured to recover for the wrongful deaths of non-insured, non-resident
- Davis v. Kaiser Found. Health Plan,
271 Ga. 508 (1999)
(reversing the Court of Appeals and invalidating an insurance provision requiring the
injured plaintiff to reimburse the plan for all medical expenses out of a tort recovery,
because the provision violated Georgia's common law policy of complete compensation).
- United States Fid. & Guar. Co. v. Reid,
223 Ga. App. 204 (1996), affirmed
268 Ga. 432 (1997)
(allowing a plaintiff to obtain uninsured motorist coverage, when the tortfeasor's
insurer becomes insolvent long after the expiration of the statute of limitations,
by means of the renewal statute).
- White v. Metro. Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co.,
266 Ga. 371 (1996)
(reversing the Court of Appeals and invalidating exclusion in uninsured motorist
policy for relatives who own their own cars).
- Southwestern Life Ins. Co. v. Middle Ga. Neurological Specialists,
262 Ga. 273 (1992)
(upholding validity of large life insurance policies against defenses of lack of
formation and non-occurrence of conditions precedent).
- Horace Mann Ins. Corp. v. Mercer,
257 Ga. App. 278 (2002)
(invalidating clause in uninsured motorist coverage that stated that if two or more
policies issued applied to the same accident, the total limit of liability under all
such policies should not exceed that of the policy with the highest limit of liability).