Kiley’s tenacity propelled him to fame when a case he helped win in the 1980s was turned into a book and movie in the 1990s. The book, A Civil Action, was written by Jonathan Harr and chronicles a water contamination case in Woburn, Massachusetts. Kiley fought and helped win a substantial award against two major corporations for families who had developed leukemia as a result of a polluted local water supply. In 1998 the book was released as a movie by the same name. A Civil Action starred John Travolta and Robert Duvall, who garnered an Oscar nomination for his role.