A Texas jury awarded $7 billion earlier this week, to a family whose grandmother was robbed and murdered by a former repairman of Charter Communications — a popular cable company that brands its services under the Spectrum umbrella.
Repairman Roy Holden murdered customer Betty Thomas in 2019, an action he plead guilty to, sending him to prison for life. He’d robbed and killed Thomas only one day after he performed a service call inside her house, ARS Technica reported.
“Mr. Holden performed a service call in Ms. Thomas’ home the day before her December 2019 murder,” a press release read. “Although Charter contended he was off-duty the following day, he managed to learn that Ms. Thomas had reported that she was still having problems with her service and used his company key card to enter a Charter Spectrum secured vehicle lot and drove his Charter Spectrum van to her house.”
“Once inside, while fixing her fax machine,” the release continued, “the victim, Ms. Thomas, caught the field tech stealing her credit cards from her purse. The Charter Spectrum field tech, Roy Holden, then brutally stabbed the 83-year-old customer with a utility knife supplied by Charter Spectrum and went on a spending spree with her credit cards.”
Jurors also addressed a claim about Charter Communications lawyers attempting to settle the case off the books, based on forged documents. Specifically, an arbitration agreement in the company’s terms of service.
The Jury concluded Charter Comms. knowingly and intentionally forged the documents in an attempt to deceive the family.
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More importantly, Holden had also had a long history of disciplinary actions taken against him, according to USA Today.
Charter was already reportedly deemed responsible for $337.5 million in damages last month, with regard to Thomas’ murder. The company stated it will appeal the verdict — on the grounds that the crime was not predictable under any reasonable standard of evidence.
“The law in Texas and the facts presented at trial clearly show this crime was not foreseeable — and the plaintiffs’ claims of wrongdoing by Charter are categorically false,” Charter Spokesman Rich Ruggiero told the Courtroom View Network, in a written statement.
The public will now have to wait and see if the verdict sticks, gets knocked down to something smaller, or is thrown out altogether.