Former Penn Economics professor Rafael Robb , who pleaded guilty in 2007 to killing his wife the previous year , will be in court yet again on Monday — this time, as the result of a lawsuit by his wife's family .
The family of Ellen Gregory Robb , Rafael Robb's wife, is suing Robb for the wrongful death of their family member, demanding more than $50,000 from Robb as the result of his actions, according to court records.
"We brought this trial to court to compensate Ellen Gregory Robb for her pain and suffering, to also compensate for her daughter Olivia for the murder of his mother, and to make sure that Rafael Robb doesn't live comfortably like a millionaire after he comes out of jail," said 1978 Wharton graduate Robert J. Mongeluzzi, a partner at Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky , the law firm representing Ellen Robb's family.
A lawyer for Robb could not be reached for comment on Sunday night.
Robb, according to court documents, bludgeoned his wife on Dec. 22, 2006 multiple times with a chin-up bar after getting into an argument with her about their daughter's holiday travel plans. Ellen Robb was preparing Christmas gifts at the time, according to the complaint filed by her family .
After Robb pleaded guilty in 2007, he was sentenced to five to ten years of imprisonment . In late 2012, Robb was set to be released from prison. However, after Ellen Robb's family learned that the board had made this decision without meeting with them, they decided to meet with the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to advocate for Robb's continued imprisonment. The parole board decided to reverse its original decision , and legislation was eventually passed in Pennsylvania that allowed victims' families to testify before the Pennsylvania Parole Board when it reviewed applications .
The civil case that will start on Monday was initially filed in 2008, after the criminal charges against Robb had been resolved. Gary Gregory , the plaintiff and the victim's brother, has "never lost faith in the American justice system and while we know the trial will be terribly painful, especially for my niece, this is what our beloved Ellen would have wanted,” he said in a press release.
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