DALLAS – Constitution Communications was ordered to pay a North Texas household $7 billion in punitive damages after their 83-year-old relative was killed by a technician in her Irving dwelling.
A Dallas County jury on Tuesday ordered the telecommunications firm, which additionally operates as Spectrum, to pay the quantity after the household of Betty Thomas mentioned security failures led to her demise.
Final month, the jury discovered the corporate responsible for her demise and, on the time, the household was awarded $375 million in compensatory damages. Constitution/Spectrum is liable for 90% of that quantity.
Thomas was stabbed a number of instances by the Spectrum technician, Roy Holden Jr., as he made a service name in December 2019, based on media studies.
He first went to her dwelling on Dec. 11, 2019, as a result of she wanted assist along with her Spectrum telephone line.
He returned the following day in his Spectrum work van after studying she was nonetheless having points, though he was off-duty, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Thomas caught Holden stealing bank cards from her purse, so he stabbed her, based on Dallas-based regulation group Hamilton Wingo, who represented Thomas’ household.
Holden later instructed authorities that he used his work gloves and work knife to kill the lady.
He then went on a “spending spree” along with her bank cards, based on the attorneys.
In April of 2021, he pleaded responsible to her homicide and was sentenced to life in jail.
Testimony within the civil trial revealed that Holden had made outcries to supervisors about struggles in his private life, together with a divorce and monetary issues, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Constitution/Spectrum ignored the crimson flags and likewise employed him with out verifying his employment historical past.
The Morning Information reported that the corporate ended its screening program when it acquired Time Warner in 2016.
Hamilton Wingo mentioned that there was a sample of thefts — 2,500 over a number of years — reported by clients in opposition to staff.
The corporate “refused” to analyze them or report them to the police, the attorneys mentioned.
“Jurors agreed that Constitution Spectrum’s actions have been the ‘proximate trigger’ of Ms. Thomas demise, and located Constitution Spectrum 90% liable for the demise, given Constitution Spectrum’s continued refusal to right its negligent security practices regardless of a repeated sample of violence in opposition to harmless clients by its area techs over a interval of years,” Hamilton Wingo mentioned in a information launch.
The discharge provides that after the household filed a lawsuit, “Constitution Spectrum attorneys used a solid doc to attempt to pressure the lawsuit right into a closed-door arbitration the place the outcomes would have been secret and damages for the homicide would have been restricted to the quantity of Ms. Thomas’s last invoice.”
Thomas’ household obtained a $58 invoice for the service name and continued to obtain the payments after her demise, the Star-Telegram reported.
The corporate instructed the newspaper that they plan to attraction.
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