A Texas family has been awarded $1.14 billion in damages against Charter Communications in a lawsuit over the fatal stabbing of their elderly mother and grandmother nearly three years ago.
Dallas County Judge Juan Renteria order A final ruling released Monday ordered Betty Jo McClain Thomas’ family to pay. The settlement comes after former Spectrum cable technician Roy Holden Jr. admitted to killing Thomas, 83, at her home in December 2019.
A Texas jury also found that Charter “knowingly and knowingly committed fraud with intent to defraud or defraud” the plaintiff by forging Thomas’ signature on a forced arbitration agreement after he had already died.
The award will be shared between Thomas’ grandson William Goff and his children Charles Thomas, Charlotte Glover, Cheryl Goff and Cindy Ringless.
“We are grateful that, after careful consideration and review of the legal and judicial record, the court entered judgment ordering Charter to pay more than $1 billion in restitution to the victim’s family,” said Chris Hamilton, attorney for the family of Hamilton Wingo. A statement On the law firm’s website.
Judge Renteria originally awarded Thomas’ family more than $7 billion in damages, but the family agreed to reduce that amount to $1.14 billion.
Consuming after stabbing
Thomas’ family filed a lawsuit case Against Charter Communications, the owner of the spectrum in 2020. The lawsuit claims Charter sent Holden to Thomas’ home to fix problems with its Spectrum service. When Thomas called Charter for more repairs the next day, Holden, who was off-duty, drove up in a Spectrum company van, stabbed Thomas repeatedly and then stole his credit cards before spending them, the lawsuit alleges.
Holden pleaded guilty during his trial against Thomas’ family last year and is serving a life sentence in prison.
Thomas’ family argued in court earlier this year that Charter did not properly screen Holden before hiring him, and that Holden was going through a divorce, experienced frequent insomnia and crying, and was financially unstable while working for Charter. The jury sided with Thomas’ family.
Charter plans to appeal the decision, the company said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. The Connecticut-based cable provider said that while it respected the jury’s decision, “only Mr. Holden, who was not in charge, is responsible for this horrific act, and we are grateful that he is in prison for life.”
Charter said it took all necessary steps to vet Holden prior to his hiring, “including a thorough pre-employment criminal background check — which showed no arrests, convictions or other criminal conduct.” “There was no evidence from Mr. Holden’s performance after he was hired to suggest that he was capable of the crimes he committed, including more than 1,000 completed service calls with zero customer complaints about his conduct,” Charter said.