November 28, 2022

A Texas family has been awarded $1.14 billion in damages against Charter Communications in a lawsuit related to the fatal stabbing of their elderly mother and grandmother nearly three years ago.

Dallas District Judge Juan Renteria Command Pact to pay family Betty Jo Maclean Thomas in a final ruling issued on Monday. The settlement comes after Roy Holden, Jr., a former cable technician at Spectrum, admitted to killing 83-year-old Thomas in her home in December 2019.

A Texas jury also found that Charter “knowingly and intentionally committed fraud with intent to defraud or harm” the plaintiffs by forging Thomas’ signature on a forced arbitration agreement already after her death.

The prize will be split between Thomas Gough’s grandson William and her children Charles Thomas, Charlotte Glover, Sheryl Goff and Cindy Ringless.

“We are grateful that, after careful consideration and review of the law and trial record, the court issued a ruling ordering Charter to pay more than $1 billion in total damages to the victim’s family,” said Chris Hamilton, family attorney, of Hamilton Wingo. in statement On the law firm’s website.

Judge Rentria originally awarded the Thomas family more than $7 billion in damages, but the family agreed to reduce that amount to $1.14 billion.

Spending Spree After Appeal

Thomas A . family lawsuit against Charter Communications, which owns Spectrum, in 2020. The lawsuit alleges that Charter sent Holden to Thomas’ home to fix an issue with its Spectrum service. When Thomas called Charter the next day for more repairs, Holden, who was out of service, arrived in a Spectrum truck, repeatedly stabbed Thomas, then stole her credit cards before going on a spending spree, the suit alleged.

Holden pleaded guilty during his trial against the Thomas family last year and is serving a life sentence.

Thomas’ family argued in court earlier this year that Charter did not properly examine Holden prior to his appointment and that Holden was going through a divorce, suffered frequent insomnia and crying spells, and was financially unstable while working for Charter. The jury sided with the Thomas family.

In a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, the company said the charter company intends to appeal the decision. The Connecticut-based cable provider said that while he respects the jury’s decision, “the responsibility for this terrible act lies solely with Mr. Holden, who was not on duty, and we are grateful to have him in prison for life.”

Charter said it had taken all necessary steps to screen Holden prior to his appointment, “including a thorough pre-employment criminal background check – which showed no arrests, convictions or other criminal conduct.” Charter said there was no evidence from “Mr Holden’s post-appointment performance to suggest he was capable of the crime he committed, including more than 1,000 completed service calls with no customer complaints about his conduct”.

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