In 2017, Cheeley Law Group achieved Georgia’s largest motor vehicle verdict of the year: a $15,000,000 compensatory damages award for Megan Richards, a survivor of the I-16 truck wreck that claimed the lives of five other Georgia Southern nursing students in April of 2015. Along with the damages awarded for Ms. Richards’ mild traumatic brain injury and PTSD, the Richards v. Total Transportation of Mississippi trial team successfully asserted common enterprise claims that held the nation’s 5th largest motor carrier (U.S. Xpress) responsible for its subsidiary’s liability and obtained an answer from the jury of “yes” on the question of punitive damages against the company driver. Bob negotiated a confidential pre-verdict settlement agreement between Plaintiff and the U.S. Xpress defendants which ended the case.
Bob Cheeley and his former law partner exposed the hidden dangers of General Motors’ C/K pickup truck fuel tank design in model years 1973-1987 in the case of Moseley vs. General Motors Corporation. GM’s truck featured a fuel tank location, commonly referred to as the “side saddle design,” which was vulnerable to rupture and fire in side impacts. Bob was instrumental in locating a former GM fuel system design engineer, Ron Elwell, and securing his attendance and testimony at the trial of the case, which was aired live on Court TV. Mr. Elwell painted a dark and troublesome picture of the guilty knowledge of the design and manufacturing defects by General Motors’ middle and upper management, including the Board of Directors. The jury awarded a verdict in favor of the parents of Shannon Moseley, a 17-year-old, in the amount of $105,000,000. In recognition of his unwavering zeal to disclose the truth, Bob Cheeley was named as a finalist for National Trial Lawyers of the Year in 1993.
Bob and Keith Pittman set the record for the largest compensatory damage award for an individual plaintiff in Georgia for pain and suffering and future life care costs in Bibbs vs. Toyota. Bob represented Delia Bibbs, a wife and mother of three, and her husband Tony. Delia fell into a coma after she was ejected from her Toyota van as the result of a defective seatbelt and door latch. As lead counsel at trial, Bob obtained a jury verdict of $46,460,000 for Delia and Tony.
Bob settled a negligent security/premises liability case against the DeBartolo family’s Augusta Mall for over $25,000,000 for a 19-year-old who was shot on the mall’s premises by an assailant attempting to rape and rob her. Bob established that the management failed to properly train its security guards to develop an effective security plan for its retail center, which was located in a high crime area.