Torts

Mr. Cork has been employed to represent clients or to associate or consult with other lawyers in a broad range of tort cases. Such employment occurs on a broad range of hourly, fixed or contingent fees.

Published Texts and Articles

  • Appearance, Reality and Product Safety, The Verdict, Spring 2009, pp. 33-34.
  • Co-author of Wrongful Death Damages for Decedents with Limited Earning Capacities, The Verdict, January 1993, p. 24.

Seminar Presentations

  • Recent Developments in Tort Law, “Recent Developments in Georgia Law” Seminar, Mercer Law School - Macon Bar, Macon, March 14, 2003.
  • Seminar Paper, Venue Considerations and Alternatives in Trucking Cases, GTLA Trucking Law Seminar, Atlanta, November 30, 2001.
  • Products Liability, Macon Bar - Mercer Law School Seminar, May 29, 1984.

Representative Appellate Cases

    Malpractice

  • Thomas v. Emory Clinic, Inc., 321 Ga. App. 457 (2011) (finding that a trial court committed error in admitting the testimony of one doctor that other, non-testifying doctors reviewed the same slides and saw nothing that the defendant doctor should have seen).
  • Cleaveland v. Gannon, 284 Ga. 376 (2008), affirming 288 Ga. App. 875 (2007) (whole court) (authorizing suit for the metastasis of a cancer that the defendant doctors failed to diagnose more than two years earlier, upholding the "new injury" concept, against objections that individual had symptoms of cancer more than two years before the discovery of the cancer).
  • Thomas v. Gastroenterology Assocs. of Gainesville, P.C., 280 Ga. 698 (2006) (reversing the Court of Appeals and holding that a professional negligence affidavit filed under OCGA Section 9-11-9.1 is valid even though it was notarized by a person whose notarial commission expired weeks before the execution of the affidavit).
  • Thompson v. Thompson, 278 Ga. 752 (2004) (reversing the Court of Appeals and striking down a former pattern instruction that the proximate cause was the dominant cause).
  • Beach v. Lipham, 276 Ga. 302 (2003) (restricting the use of the "presumption of skill" jury instruction in medical malpractice cases).
  • Gray v. John R. Vaughn, P.C., 217 Ga. App. 872 (1995) (reversing trial court and holding that company providing emergency room doctor to hospital could be liable for doctor's acts based on contract provisions).
  • Beck v. Dennis, 215 Ga. App. 728 (1994) (reversing judgment below and holding that statute of repose in medical malpractice case could be avoided by proof of fraud on doctor's part).
  • Crumpton v. Kelly, 185 Ga. App. 245 (1987) (reversing judgment on jury verdict because trial court failed to excuse from jury the attorney for county board of commissioners in medical malpractice case against county hospital authority).
  • Premises Liability

  • Robinson v. Kroger Co., 268 Ga. 735 (1997) (reversing Court of Appeals, and implicitly overruling scores of cases, by authorizing a plaintiff to recover in a slip-and-fall case where the defect was visible, where the plaintiff was not looking at the floor at the time of the fall and where the plaintiff was looking at the defendant's goods).
  • Valentin v. Six Flags Over Georgia, 286 Ga. App. 508 (2007) (reversing summary judgment due to fall on inadequately secured rug).
  • Kitchens v. Keadle Lumber Enters., 249 Ga. App. 831 (2001) (reversing summary judgment for owner of timber processor that knew of holes in ground into which plaintiff fell and that such holes were covered by mud).
  • Wesleyan College v. Weber, 238 Ga. App. 90 (1999) (upholding large verdict in wrongful death claim based on failure to inspect and remove dangerous trees near road, and reversing trial court's grant of new trial).
  • Burke v. Bi-Lo, Inc., 212 Ga. App. 115 (1994) (reversing summary judgment because evidence was sufficient that store failed to use due care to patrol aisles for spills).
  • Stone v. Dayton Hudson Corp., 193 Ga. App. 752 (1989) (reversing summary judgment because of inconsistencies in store manager's testimony about steps used to check floors).
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents

  • Dial v. Natalizi, 246 Ga. App. 97 (2000) (reversing judgment below and finding sufficient circumstantial evidence to prove that defendant's vehicle did not stop in the road, as he claimed, due to engine failure).
  • Glenn McClendon Trucking Co. v. Williams, 183 Ga. App. 508 (1987) (upholding large jury award in motor vehicle accident against various challenges, including a finding that punitive damages were appropriate based on repairs to truck using improper tools).
  • Bellamy v. Edwards, 181 Ga. App. 887 (1987) (upholding large jury award in motor vehicle accident against various challenges, including a holding that the lead driver in a "race" on public roads could be liable for a collision caused by the negligence of a trailing driver).
  • Haynes v. Huff, 165 Ga. App. 192 (1983) (reversing judgment on jury verdict because trial court improperly allowed investigating officer to testify to hearsay remarks of others).
  • Product Liability

  • Underwood v. Select Tire, Inc., 296 Ga. App. 805 (2009) (establishing the liabilities of resellers and installers of used products in Georgia).
  • Duren v. Paccar, Inc., 249 Ga. App. 758 (2001) (reversing judgment below and holding that Georgia products liability law was not preempted by federal safety standards for anti-lock brakes).
  • English v. Crenshaw Supply Co., 193 Ga. App. 354 (1989) (reversing summary judgments and holding that one defendant, though a distributor, could be held liable as a manufacturer because it put its color on the defective scaffolding, and holding that defects in the scaffolding could be a concurrent proximate cause of the plaintiff's fall and injuries).
  • Railroad Accidents

  • Tadlock v. Tadlock, 290 Ga. App. 568 (2008) (establishing the rights of a non-dependent adult child to participate in the survival action under FELA due to injuries to his father, and the effect of a prenuptial agreement).
  • Southern Ry. v. Hand, 216 Ga. App. 370 (1995) (upholding large verdict for worker against numerous challenges).
  • Governmental Liability

  • Vann v. Finley, 313 Ga. App. 153 (2011) (holding a city's electrical inspector liable against his claim that he acted in a discretionary capacity and his assertions of various kinds of immunity).
  • Georgia Dept. of Transp. v. Miller, 300 Ga. App. 857 (2009) (upholding department's liability for allowing drainage culvert to be clogged, resulting in water hazard on highway during rain events, leading to a fatality; rejecting claims for immunity in the exercise of discretionary functions; rejecting Daubert challenges to the plaintiff's experts; etc.).
  • Medical Center Hospital Authority v. Andrews, 250 Ga. 424 (1982) (holding that hospital authorities lack sovereign immunity).
  • Vicarious Liability

  • Kissun v. Humana, Inc., 267 Ga. 419 (1997) (reversing Court of Appeals and allowing parent and subsidiary corporations to be liable on theories of apparent agency and joint venture).
  • Fraud

  • Dunn v. Five Star Dodge-Jeep-Eagle-Mazda, Inc., 245 Ga. App. 378 (2000) (reversing trial court's erroneous reduction of verdict in fraud case).
  • Damages

  • Sightler v. Transus, Inc., 208 Ga. App. 173 (1993) (cert. dismissed as improvidently granted) (reversing trial court and holding that employer's liability for punitive damages based on acts of employee was not defeated by death of the employee).