Charter Spectrum Ordered to Pay $7 Billion After Its Employee Murdered A Texas Grandmother

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Most of us allow company employees into our homes whenever we need something installed or repaired. We trust the company to ensure that their employees are decent people that won’t rob or hurt us. One company abused that trust and now will pay dearly.

NBC News reports:

A cable company has been ordered to pay over $7 billion in damages to the family of 83-year-old Texas grandmother Betty Thomas who was brutally stabbed to death in her home by a Spectrum employee in 2019. 

Roy James Holden, an installer for Spectrum, owned by Charter Communications, had performed work at Thomas’ home in Irving in December 2019, police said at the time.

Holden returned the next day in uniform and using the company’s van while he was off, posing as if he was on the job, and killed her, then used her cards for a shopping spree after her murder, prosecutors said.

The jury awarded a verdict of $375 million in compensatory damages and said the company was responsible for paying 90% of it after the trial revealed “systemic failures” in the company’s pre-employee screening, hiring and supervision practices.

On Tuesday, the verdict for punitive damages was announced — bringing the total to $7.37 billion. 

Trial testimony in the case revealed that Charter Spectrum hired Holden “without verifying his employment, which would have revealed that he had lied about his work history,” Hamilton said in a release. The testimony included “red flags” allegedly ignored by Spectrum supervisors. 

That poor woman! She had the man in her home just the day before, presumably to install her cable. The next day he returned, so of course, she allowed him in. Most of us would have. Will you take precautions next time someone comes to your home to perform a service?

Stacey Warner

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