Charter Communications Ordered to Pay $375 Million After Employee Murders Customer

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On June 23, 2022, a Dallas County jury found that Charter Communications acted negligently with respect to its field technician’s fatal stabbing of Betty Thomas in 2019 and awarded her family $375 million in compensatory damages.  Roy Holden, a 45-year-old technician for Charter Communications, performed a service call on Ms. Thomas’ residence and then came back the following day, having used his company key card to enter his company’s secured vehicle lot, drove his company’s van to her home, and stabbed her to death with his company supplied knife before going on a spending spree with her credit cards.  Mr. Holden subsequently pleaded guilty to the murder of the 83-year-old woman and was sentenced to life in prison.

Plaintiffs’ counsel presented evidence of Charter Communication’s failures with respect to its pre-employment screening, hiring, and supervision practices, as well as failures to address known warning signs and control the off-duty use of company vehicles.  They also noted that Charter Communications ended its pre-employment screening in 2016, arguing that a review of Mr. Holden’s previous employers would have revealed firings for forgery, falsifying documents, and harassment of fellow employees.  Charter Communications did not question its technician’s guilt but instead denied that it did not screen him and disputed the assertions that Ms. Thomas’ death was both foreseeable and preventable.  Charter Communications has also indicated they will appeal the decision.  If you or a loved one have been wrongfully injured, the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, and its team of experienced trial lawyers are ready and willing to help.