Track Record Robert W. Kelley
After 20+ years and 100+ jury trials, Robert Kelley has taken on some of the country’s toughest defendants, from corporations that prioritize profit over human life to hospitals determined to cover up their deadly mistakes.
Bob routinely obtains multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for clients who are struggling with the aftereffects of severe personal injury or the wrongful death of their loved ones.
No matter how difficult a case, Bob never gives up on advocating for people who have been harmed and their families.
$300 Million in the Largest Individual Verdict against a Tobacco Company
Cindy Naugle, a 61-year-old who smoked for more than 20 years, suffered from emphysema so badly that when she took the stand at her trial against Philip Morris, she was out of breath.
Bob represented her and led an intensive investigation into the company, uncovering documents that clearly showed Philip Morris was deliberately concealing the damaging effects of their products to make money.
The court sided with Cindy and ordered Philip Morris to pay $300 million—the largest-ever judgement against a tobacco company in a case with an individual plaintiff.
Before the Naugle trial, individual verdicts against tobacco companies were often in the low millions, which helped plaintiffs but didn’t hinder tobacco companies.
Bob’s landmark verdict, however, attracted national media attention and proved that large verdicts were possible in individual cases. Ultimately, the court decided that Philip Morris was 90 percent liable for Cindy’s health problems and ordered them to pay both compensatory and punitive damages.
$60 Million in the Largest Wrongful Death Judgement against General Motors
Bob secured $60 million for the parents of a 13-year-old boy who burned to death when the family’s Oldsmobile Cutlass exploded. The family had gotten into a minor accident and the fuel tank caught on fire, injuring everyone in the car.
Through exhaustive research and investigation, Bob uncovered internal documents from General Motors that proved the company knew about the fuel tank defect and covered it up.
Instead of paying an additional $2.20 per vehicle to add fuel tank shields that would have prevented deadly fires, GM did a “value analysis” and decided that it would be cheaper to leave the defect and pay out verdicts and settlements.
At trial, Bob exposed GM’s years-long conspiracy and definitively proved GM’s guilt, and the company paid out $60 million—at the time, the largest wrongful death and personal injury verdict ever paid by GM.
Settled a Wrongful Death Lawsuit on Behalf of His Own Late Father
In the most personal case Bob has ever handled, he filed a lawsuit against the North Broward Hospital District for the wrongful death of his father, the Rev. Robert P. Kelley.
Bob’s father underwent surgery for a fractured knee and was sent home without a prescription for blood thinners to prevent clotting. He died less than a week later of a pulmonary embolism, leaving behind his wife, Mary.
Bob filed suit on behalf of his mother and late father. After five years of legal back-and-forth, critical documents—which the hospital claimed never existed—were discovered in a hearing. If the documents had been brought forth earlier it would have changed the trajectory of the case, and Bob argued that the hospital was conspiring to shift blame and avoid responsibility.
The court agreed that North Broward Hospital District was willfully concealing information, and the hospital was forced to settle with the Kelley family.
Represented a Whistleblower Who Told the Truth About Hospital’s Ebola Preparedness
Bob represented Briana Aguirre, a nurse who was working at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas during the Ebola crisis of fall 2014.
Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die from the virus in the U.S., was under the hospital’s care, and two of Briana’s coworkers contracted the virus from him. Although Texas Presbyterian claimed they followed every protocol, Briana saw a very different story.
She described the hospital as “chaotic” and said there was virtually no Ebola preparation or training for staff before Duncan arrived. When she was asked to care for her coworker Nina Pham, she was given protective gear that left her neck exposed, potentially allowing the virus to reach her mouth and nose.
Even though she was the breadwinner for her two young daughters and blowing the whistle could have jeopardized her job, Briana felt the public deserved to know what was happening at Texas Presbyterian—and she turned to Bob for help.
$33 Million for a Surgeon Whose Hands Were Damaged by the LAPD
Bob represented a urology surgeon and assistant professor at the University of Miami who was wrongfully arrested by the LAPD and suffered nerve damage in his shoulders, wrists and hands. The surgeon was in Los Angeles for a medical symposium and had rented a Ford Taurus from Budget Rent-a-Car.
When he left the symposium for the day, police noticed that the tag on his rental matched a car that was reported stolen a year before, and they pulled him over.
Despite telling police that the car was rented and the paperwork was in the glove compartment, the surgeon was forced to the ground, brought to the station and handcuffed until he told officers he was in pain.
Following the arrest, he required help from other doctors in surgery because his hands and fingers shook. Bob argued that the surgeon had suffered potentially career-ending injuries because officers incorrectly applied handcuffs and refused him medical attention.
In addition to the wrongful arrest, Budget Rent-a-Car was held responsible for mistakenly issuing the wrong license tag. Bob achieved a $33 million verdict for the surgeon, with the LAPD paying 43 percent and Budget paying 57 percent.
$39 Million for a Man in a Coma after a Fraudulent Medical Procedure
While a young father of two was under anesthesia for a joint manipulation procedure, he slipped into a coma and never recovered.
Joint manipulation typically does not require anesthesia, but doctors at Atlantic Surgical Center were hosting a seminar and used their patient to demonstrate a new “procedure”—which was essentially a scam to bill insurance companies for expensive anesthesia, even though it was unnecessary.
On behalf of the victim and his family, Bob settled with almost 30 individual defendants who were involved in the case. Then, he took on the doctor and anesthesiologist who performed the procedure, securing a $39 million verdict for his client’s lost earnings and pain and suffering.
He even got the doctor to admit on the stand that the procedure was a money-making scheme. Although the victim remains in a minimally conscious state, the verdict allowed his family to build a house and pay for his care.