Robert D. Cheeley
299 South Main Street
Alpharetta, GA 30009
Ovarian Cancer Talc Cases, General Torts, Products Liability, Foodborne Illness, Premises Liability, Business Torts, Medical Malpractice
Bob received his B.A. in 1979 at the University of Georgia. He earned his J.D. there in 1982.
Bob is a Georgia native, hailing from Buford, Georgia. Bob attended Buford High School, where he was a leader in the classroom and on the football field. Bob practiced law with the firm of Cheeley & Chandler, a firm founded by his father, Judge Joseph E. Cheeley, Jr., from 1982-1988.
In 1988, Bob was a founding partner of Butler, Wooten, Overby & Cheeley. Bob quickly distinguished himself as an innovative legal mind and was instrumental in developing the firm’s automobile products liability practice. In that area, Bob has secured over $275 million in verdicts and settlements for his clients throughout the nation from virtually every automaker for design and manufacturing defects. Bob has always prided himself on thinking outside the box in his case preparation.
In 1993, Bob and partner Jim Butler 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 in 1993, 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 their unwavering zeal to disclose the truth, Bob and Jim Butler were nominated and were finalists for National Trial Lawyers of the Year in 1993.
In 1994, Bob 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 who suffered a coma as a result of a seatbelt and door latch failed to keep her in her Toyota van. The verdict in that case was $46,460,000.
In addition to auto products cases, Bob has successfully handled wrongful death, personal injury, premises liability/negligent security, medical/hospital negligence, trucking and Section 1983 actions against governmental entities. In 1991, Bob settled a negligent security/premises liability case against the Edward DeBartello family’s Augusta Mall for over $25,000,000 for a 19-year-old young lady who was shot on the premises by an assailant who was attempting to rob and rape her. The facts 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.
Bob is a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association of Justice. Bob is rated “AV® Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell.
A partial listing of Bob’s cases include the following:
Wrongful Death cases. $45,000,000 wrongful death settlement against U.S. Xpress and Total Transportation of Mississippi for the deaths of 3 Georgia Southern nursing students.
Negligent security premises case. $1,800,000 settlement.
Medical malpractice case. $3,000,000 million settlement.
Defective door latch case against GM. $150,000,000 jury verdict.
Road Wreck case. $15,500,000 jury verdict in White County, Georgia.
Civil rights case. $9,800,000 settlement in a 42 U.S.C. Section 1943 case against county entities for wrong search and seizure.
Defective automobile roof structure. $5,000,000 settlement post-verdict settlement.
GM Side Saddle fuel tanks. Moseley v. General Motors Co. $105,000,000 jury verdict against GM because of the placement of its fuel tanks outside the frame rails of pickup truck.
Defective sport utility vehicle. $20,000,000 settlement.
Automobile products liability cases. Retention components. $33,000,000 in settlements.
Automobile defective seatbelt and door retention. Bibbs v. Toyota Motor Company. $46,600,000 compensatory damages/jury verdict, and a “yes” as to punitive damages. The case settled after the compensatory verdict.
Defective sport utility vehicle. $8,500,000 settlement.
Defective Suzuki Samurai sports utility vehicle/rollover. Rodriguez v. Suzuki Motor Company et all. $90,000,000 jury verdict.
Wrongful death case. Alderson v. Con-Way Southern Express et al. $1,575,000 settlement pre-lawsuit.
Wrongful death case. $2,750,000 pre-trial settlement for the wrongful death of a young graphics designer.
Defective Suzuki Samurai sports utility vehicle/rollover. $3,000,000 settlement for wrongful death.
Defective door latch case. $5,250,000 settlement.
Automobile defective fuel tank placement.
Dram shop case. $1,000,000 against bar for causing the intoxication of solo patron, who then drove and collided his car with another car, causing the driver’s death.
Automobile products liability, failure to anchor driver’s floor mat which lodged over the accelerator and caused car to crash. $2,000,000 jury verdict.
Bob was a Finalist, National Trial Lawyer of the Year, Public Citizen, 1993. Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Member. American Association for Justice, Member. Attorneys Information Exchange Group, Former Board Member. Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.
Bob and Lisa are members of Perimeter Church, where they have been members since 1993. Bob has served as an Elder at Perimeter since 1996. Bob also serves on the Board of Directors of The Piedmont Bank located in Peachtree Corners, Georgia and previously served on the Board of Directors of The Peachtree Bank. From 2000-2005, Bob served on the Board of Directors of The Wesleyan School. Bob has served as Chairman/CEO of ViveBo, LLC, a biotech startup, since 2010. From 1997-2005, Bob served on the Phi Gamma Delta Educational Foundation Board of Trustees and served as its President and Chairman of the Board from 2003-2005. During this tenure, the Foundation raised more than $12MM for scholarships for undergraduates across the USA.
- B.A., University of Georgia, 1979
- J.D., University of Georgia, 1982
- Georgia 1988
- Superior Court of Georgia
- Supreme Court of Georgia
- Court of Appeals of Georgia
- United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
- United States District Courts for the Northern and Middle District of Georgia
- pro hac vice Admissions in Alabama, California, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New York and North Carolina
Bob and his wife Lisa live in Johns Creek, Georgia and are the parents of three young adult children: David, Amelia and Harrison.