Charter Communications to Pay $1.5 Billion to Family of Woman Who Was Murdered By Cable Technician After House Call
Betty Thomas, 83, was murdered in her home on December 2019.
A Dallas County judge has ruled that telecommunications company, Charter Communications, has to pay the family of a woman that was murdered by one of the company's cable workers $1.5 billion.
Betty Thomas, 83, was murdered in her Irving, Texas home by Charter cable tech Roy Holden in December 2019. Holden, who had visited Thomas' home on a house call the day prior, returned to her home the next day in uniform where he attempted to rob her before ultimately killing her with a knife.
While on trial, it was found that Charter "ignored countless red flags" on behalf of Holden, including that he was fired multiple times prior on account of "misconduct."
It was also discovered that the company forged a service agreement on behalf of Thomas after she had been murdered "in an attempt to force the lawsuit into arbitration" which would have set the maximum number of damages Charter could have paid at under $200, according to plaintiffs' attorney.
"We are grateful that, after careful consideration and review of the law and trial record, the Court entered judgment ordering Charter to pay more than $1 billion in total damages to the victim's family," said Chris Hamilton, lead trial lawyer. "The final judgment includes findings that Charter further committed felony forgery in causing harm to the plaintiffs, which properly eliminates the cap on punitive damages under Texas law."
Charter, however, is not going down without a fight.
The company is attempting to appeal the verdict, according to The Hollywood Reporter, despite the fact that this week's verdict is a reduction from the original $7.38 billion Charter was ordered to pay Thomas' family this past July.
"We are committed to the safety of all our customers and took the necessary steps, including a thorough pre-employment criminal background check — which showed no arrests, convictions or other criminal behavior," Charter said in a statement. "Nor did anything in Mr. Holden's performance after he was hired suggest he was capable of the crime he committed, including more than 1,000 completed service calls with zero customer complaints about his behavior."
Holden is currently serving life in prison.
Charter was down over 51% in a one-year period as of early Wednesday afternoon.
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