Charter Communications must pay the family of a 83-year-old woman murdered by her cable installer more than $7 billion, a Dallas jury ruled. The jurors found that the company ignored red flags about its employee and forged documents to minimize their liabilities, reports Law & Crime. “This was a shocking breach of faith by a company that sends workers inside millions of homes every year,” said lawyer Chris Hamilton, who represented the family. "For the safety of the American public, we can only hope that Charter Spectrum and its shareholders are listening.”
The massive verdict represents more than eight percent of Charter Communications’ market capitalization, currently estimated at more than $80 billion. The company operates under the name Spectrum. On Dec. 11, 2019, Spectrum sent Roy Holden Jr. to the home of the elderly Betty Thomas, who reported problems with her bundled phone, TV, and internet service. Returning to her home the next day, Holden arrived in his Spectrum car and uniform and told Thomas that he had to perform follow-up repairs. He stabbed her to death and stole her wallet and ID, reportedly using her debit card hours after her murder. Holden pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence. The family’s lawyers said trial testimony showed that Charter hired Holden without verifying his employment history and “ignored a series of red flags,” including the killer’s written pleas to upper management to help him with financial and family problems.