Mark Clark is President and Managing Partner of the firm. With more than 30 years practicing law, Mark has devoted his career exclusively to the representation of accident victims and their families. He has successfully represented accident victims against every major insurance company, automobile manufacturer and tire manufacturer, earning him a reputation for obtaining maximum results for his clients. His experience and hard work has resulted in more than 150 million-dollar verdicts and settlements throughout Florida and the United States.
Among his many accomplishments, Mark served as President of the Florida Justice Association, formerly known as the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and Chairman of the Florida Justice Political Action Committee. Under his leadership, the organization was able to pass a bill that corrected a flaw in the Florida Wrongful Death Act and defeat legislation that would have had devastating effects on accident victims.
He is one of a distinguished group of attorneys who has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the prestigious publication, The Best Lawyers in America, for 10 years or longer, and is recognized in three practice areas of products liability litigation, personal injury litigation and medical malpractice law. Mark is also recognized as one of the Legal Elite in Florida Trend Magazine, has been named a Super Lawyer in Florida Super Lawyers Magazine, voted as one of the top lawyers in South Florida Legal Guide and selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America by the National Trial Lawyers.
Significant Legal Victories
Product Liability Turndown Results in $1.2 Million Recovery
Partner Mark W. Clark and the Clark Fountain team were contacted by an out-of-state referral attorney to investigate a potential product liability case arising out of a violent collision. Following a thorough inspection of the vehicle with their experts, Clark determined that there was no viable product liability claim. However, they brought a lawsuit against the other driver who caused the collision. After obtaining an excess judgment against the at-fault driver, Clark filed a bad faith action against the driver’s insurance company based on its failure to timely pay the driver’s $10,000 liability limits in pre-suit. Ultimately, the firm made a $1.2 million bad faith recovery on behalf of the client – $1.19 million above the policy limits – to cover the client’s damages.
Semi-Tractor-Trailer Accident Causes Catastrophic Injuries, Quadriplegia
Mark W. Clark and the Clark Fountain team represented a family of five on vacation in Florida, who sustained catastrophic injuries including quadriplegia and traumatic brain damage when a commercial semi-tractor-trailer made an improper right turn from the left lane across the clients’ lane of travel. As a result, the driver of the clients’ vehicle was forced to take evasive action but was still unable to avoid colliding with the trailer of the rig.
Clark established that the driver of the tractor-trailer violated key provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), which require drivers of commercial vehicles to make a right hand turn “as close as practicable to the right-handed curb or edge of the roadway” and to ensure that no vehicles are passing them or otherwise in their path of travel before beginning their turn. One of the clients was rendered quadriplegic requiring 24-hour-a-day care for the remainder of his life.
The initial medical bills alone were well over $1 million and his future medical care needs exceeded $15 million. Our client’s doctors opined that he could live into his 70s with quality medical care. Fortunately, our firm was able to obtain a multi-million dollar recovery from the trucking company’s insurance carriers, and provide financial security for our clients in this case.
Defective Fuel System Claims Lives of Two College Students
Two college students were killed after a car they were traveling in was struck in the rear by another vehicle. Upon impact, the students’ car burst into flames and both died from thermal injuries. Referred by another attorney, Mark Clark and a Clark Fountain attorney reached confidential settlements following years of litigation and extensive discovery.
Firm Client Electrocuted At Historic Hotel While On Vacation In Florida
While on vacation at a historic hotel in Florida, firm client was violently electrocuted in the outdoor pool area. The client was taken by EMS and admitted to a local hospital after suffering burns, arm, shoulder and heart injuries.
The client ultimately underwent multiple surgeries to attempt repair of the client’s rotator cuff and bicep tendon which were destroyed from the electrical current. The client was left with severe loss of use and performance of his arm and disfigurement.
In addition, he underwent a cardiac catheterization angioplasty implant to repair heart damage.
Partner Mark W. Clark and attorney Jennifer A. Dinetz filed a lawsuit against the hotel on behalf of the client and after establishing negligence on the hotel for causing the electrocution. A substantial confidential settlement was obtained for the clients.
Tractor-Trailer Crash on I95 Causes Death of Son
Partners Donald R. Fountain, Mark W. Clark, and attorney Shana P. Nogues represented the personal representative of the estate of the surviving parents whose son was killed as a result of the negligence of the driver of an 18-wheeler.
The defendant driver was operating the fully loaded rig on a suspended driver’s license at the time of the crash.
A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the trucking company, the tractor-trailer driver, trailer, and the owner of the trailer for negligence after operation of the tractor-trailer for violations of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Following the crash, the decedent suffered incapacitating injuries and underwent extensive medical treatment and multiple surgeries to try and save his life before he passed away.
The medical bills alone were in excess of $2,600,000 million dollars.
After extensive discovery was conducted the case was confidentially settled on behalf of the estate and surviving parents.
Client Suffers Amputation of Arm in Vehicle Rollover Crash
Firm client was a passenger in a vehicle that lost control and rolled over resulting in the traumatic amputation of her arm. The driver of the vehicle was charged and ultimately convicted of DUI causing serious bodily injury.
Mark W. Clark and Jennifer A. Dinetz were retained to pursue a Liquor Liability case against the restaurant bar establishment that served alcoholic beverages to the at-fault driver before the crash.
The case was filed in both state and federal court due to the complexity of the liquor liability laws and insurance coverage issues involved in the case. The lawsuit alleged that the restaurant bar knowingly served alcoholic beverages to a person habitually addicted to alcohol that resulted in the subject crash.
Despite the legal challenges, Clark and Dinetz were able to establish that there was liquor liability coverage for the claim and they were able to secure key testimony from employees of the restaurant bar in order to establish that the bartender knowingly served a habitual alcoholic before the crash. Ultimately, after the lengthy legal battle a confidential settlement was reached with the restaurant bar establishment that provides financial security for the client for the devastating loss of her dominant arm.
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.
Negligent Placement of a Feeding Tube Causes Devastating Death of Patient
Partners Nancy La Vista and Mark W. Clark filed a wrongful death suit against a hospital for the negligent placement of a feeding tube, resulting in the devastating death of decedent.
While in the hospital, decedent underwent a feeding tube placement during the recovery from a mild stroke. The feeding tube was initially placed by a doctor into the stomach, however, the tube became dislodged and was replaced by nursing staff. Inexplicably, the nursing staff began feeding the decedent before they obtained an x-ray to confirm proper placement of the tube in the stomach. After the decedent began gasping for air, it was determined that the feeding tube was inadvertently inserted into the lung and punctured through it. As a result, the decedent developed pneumonia and sepsis, causing a horrendous and untimely death.
After key depositions were taken, a confidential settlement was reached with the hospital on behalf of the surviving spouse to resolve this horrendous wrongful death case.
Defective Seat Back Design Results In the Death of a 15-Year-Old Boy
A father, mother and their 15 and 19-year-old sons were all properly seat belted and stopped at a red light when their vehicle was struck from behind by a drunk driver.
The impact of the crash caused the driver’s seat to collapse rearward, striking the younger son and causing fatal head injuries. The boy’s father, mother, and older brother sustained minor injuries.
The case was referred to Clark Fountain after being turned down by three other law firms. Partners Donald R. Fountain, Mark W. Clark, and Attorney Ben J. Whitman hired a team of experts and brought suit against the vehicle manufacturer and the designer of the seats when they discovered a series of seatback design defects that led to the young man’s death. Namely, the driver’s seatback was too flexible, which caused it to dynamically recline rearward.
In addition, the trailing edge of the driver’s seatback and the metal structural components in the upper seatback were not properly constructed or padded to prevent serious injury to rear seat occupants.
When the driver’s seatback abruptly reclined into the rear occupant compartment, the pocketed design of the internal horizontal steel braces in the upper part of the seatback, captured and held the young man’s face and head, causing his fatal injuries.
The parties reached a confidential settlement that included the return of the vehicle and seat to the manufacturer defendants. Although the settlement provides some closure for our clients, our hope is that the manufacturer will modify the existing design to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring again.
Firm Represents Aviation Crash Victims in Wrongful Death and Catastrophic Injury Claims
A 58-year-old pilot died in an airplane accident in Illinois after a portion of the aircraft wing and/or engine detached during flight.
Managing Partner Mark W. Clark and Attorney Ben J. Whitman filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the FAA-approved aircraft maintenance company that serviced the plane a month prior to the crash, as well as the manufacturer of the wing components. The firm retained a materials engineer and aviation expert who showed the aircraft repair company failed to properly perform the repair of the aircraft wings, thereby allowing the skin on the wing to peel off during flight.
They were also able to identify a defect in the wing component parts. As a result, Clark and Whitman were able to negotiate a confidential settlement and hold the defendants accountable for the wrongful death of the pilot.
In a similar case, Clark represented an engineer who sustained catastrophic injuries in an airplane crash after the aircraft’s propeller struck the runway and stalled the engine while attempting to land. Our client was airlifted to a local hospital and sustained burst fractures to his thoracic and lumbar spine, bleeding on the brain, and a 49% permanent whole body impairment. Both aviation accident cases settled for confidential amounts.
Firm Settles Wrongful Death Case Involving Issues of Gross Negligence and Workers’ Compensation Immunity
Partners Mark W. Clark and Julie H. Littky-Rubin reached a confidential settlement arising from the wrongful death of a construction worker whose family sought to overcome the workers’ compensation immunity defenses of contractors whose gross negligence led to the worker’s death. The underlying case involved the tragic death of a construction worker who fell several floors to the ground due to the grossly negligent design, construction and use of scaffolding equipment on the job site. The case presented multiple legal hurdles, including whether the contractors were protected from suit under Florida’s broad immunity conferred upon employers under F.S. §440.11 (providing that liability under the workers’ compensation statute shall be “exclusive and in place of all other liability”).
However, under certain limited circumstances, the statute does not shield employers and contractors when their actions amount to “gross” negligence. Aside from having to overcome work comp immunity, the firm had to defeat the insurers’ arguments that the wrongful death claims were not covered due to various insurance policy exclusions. The coverage defense required the case be litigated simultaneously in two counties – one handling the liability component of the case, and the other addressing the insurance coverage dispute. Ultimately, the firm was able to prevail by obtaining a substantial recovery for the deceased construction worker’s family, despite the complex legal issues and defenses raised during the course of litigation.
Multi-million Dollar Confidential Recovery from Commercial Trucking Company for Catastrophic Injuries Including Quadriplegia
Mark W. Clark and Christa L. McCann represented a family of five on vacation in Florida, who sustained catastrophic injuries including quadriplegia and traumatic brain damage when a commercial semi-tractor-trailer made an improper right turn from the left lane across the clients’ lane of travel. As a result, the driver of the clients’ vehicle was forced to take evasive action, but was still unable to avoid colliding with the trailer of the rig.
Clark and McCann were able to establish that the driver of the tractor-trailer violated key provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), which require drivers of commercial vehicles to make a right hand turn “as close as practicable to the right-handed curb or edge of the roadway” and to ensure that no vehicles are passing them or otherwise in their path of travel before beginning their turn. One of the clients was rendered quadriplegic requiring 24-hour-a-day care for the remainder of his life. The initial medical bills alone were well over $1 million and his future medical care needs exceeded $15 million. Our client’s doctors opined that he could live into his 70s with quality medical care. Fortunately, our firm was able to obtain a multi-million dollar recovery from the trucking company’s insurance carriers, and provide financial security for our clients in this case.
Firm Reaches Confidential Settlement in Products Liability/Wrongful Death Scissor Lift Case
The Personal Representative of the Estate and survivors of the decedent who was killed using a scissor lift, retained Clark Fountain. The scissor lift fell to the ground while it was extended to its maximum height. Mark W. Clark and Ben J. Whitman filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the aerial lift, alleging the product was defective in its design which caused it to fall over. After several years of litigation and numerous depositions Clark and Whitman were able to reach a confidential settlement based on the information uncovered during discovery.
Over the years the Firm has successfully handled multiple scissor/aerial lift products liability cases and the firm’s expertise in handling these complex cases lead to a favorable resolution of this case.
Tire Tread Belt Separation Results in Death of Mother of Three
Mark W. Clark and Ben J. Whitman successfully resolved a wrongful death case arising out of a rear tire tread belt separation and subsequent rollover accident, which tragically killed a mother of three. Based on the firm’s experience and expertise in product liability cases, an out-of-state attorney contacted Clark Fountain to handle the wrongful death case. Whitman and Clark settled the suit against multiple parties early on, and then extensively litigated the case against the remaining defendants. Over 30 depositions were conducted in over eight different states, and multiple days of highly contested pretrial hearings were completed.
On the eve of trial, the defendants agreed to pay a series of settlements to resolve the survivors’ claims arising out of the devastating and preventable death of their mother.
- Florida Justice Association, Past President, Treasurer and Secretary
- Florida Justice PAC, Past Chairman
- Florida Justice Association, Fellow
- YMCA of the Palm Beaches, Past Chairman of the Board of Directors
- Goodwill Industries, former member of the Board of Directors
- South Florida Science Museum, former member of the Board of Directors
- Rosarian Academy
- Former member of the Board of Directors
- Finance Committee, former member
- United Way of the Palm Beaches Allocations Committee, former member
- Floridians for Patient Protection, Board Member