Company ordered to pay more than $7 billion in damages after Texas woman was killed by Spectrum employee

DALLAS – Charter Communications was ordered to pay a North Texas family $7 billion in punitive damages after their 83-year-old relative was killed by a technician at her Irving home.

A Dallas County jury on Tuesday ordered the telecommunications company, which also operates as Spectrum, to pay the amount after Betty Thomas’s family said security breaches led to her death.

Last month, a jury found the company responsible for her death, and the family was awarded $375 million in damages at the time. Charter/Spectrum is responsible for 90% of this amount.

Thomas was reportedly stabbed multiple times by Spectrum technician Roy Holden Jr. when he called customer service in December 2019, according to media reports.

For the first time he came to her house on December 11. November 11, 2019 because she needed help with the Spectrum phone line.

He returned the next day in his Spectrum work van, learning that she was still in trouble even though he was off work. This was reported by the Dallas Morning News..


According to a Dallas legal team, Thomas caught Holden stealing credit cards from her purse, so he stabbed her. Hamilton Wingowho represented the Thomas family.

Holden later told authorities that he had used his work gloves and work knife to kill the woman.

According to lawyers, he then began to “spending” with her credit cards.

In April 2021, he pleaded guilty to her murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Witness testimony in the civil trial showed that Holden complained to the warders about problems in his personal life, including divorce and financial problems, It is reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram..

Charter/Spectrum ignored the red flags and hired him without checking his work history.


The Morning News reported that the company ended its screening program when it acquired Time Warner in 2016.

Hamilton Wingo said there was a system of thefts—2,500 over several years—that customers reported to employees.

The company “refused” to investigate them or report them to the police, lawyers said.

“The jury agreed that Charter Spectrum’s actions were the ‘proximate cause’ of Ms. Thomas, and acknowledged that Charter Spectrum was 90% responsible for the death given Charter Spectrum’s continued refusal to correct its lax security practices despite repeated incidents of violence against innocent customers by its field staff over the years,” Hamilton said. Wingo in an interview. news release.

The press release adds that after the family filed the lawsuit, “Charter Spectrum lawyers used a forged document to try to take the lawsuit to a closed arbitration, where the results would be secret and the damages from the murder would be limited to the amount or Ms. Last Thomas account.


Thomas’s family received a $58 bill for a support call and continued to receive bills after her death, according to Star-Telegram.

The company told the newspaper that they plan to appeal.

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