You may have heard that courts recently ordered the Spectrum Cable Company to pay billions of dollars to the family of 83-year-old Betty Thomas. You might wonder what happened and why the company has to pay damages when the man who committed the murder was off-duty at the time.
Attorneys for the Thomas family claim that this home service employee murder was foreseeable. Learn more about the case and how MDK Law Group can help if a loved one loses their life in similar circumstances.
What Are the Details of the Home Service Employee Murder Case?
First, look at the facts of the murder case:
- Roy Holden Jr. went to Betty Thomas’s home in Irving, TX, on December 11, 2019, on a service call for his employer, Spectrum Cable.
- On December 12, Holden was off duty. He dressed in his work uniform and drove a company van to Thomas’s house, where he fatally stabbed her and stole her credit cards.
- Ms. Thomas’s family went to her house to check on her when she failed to show up at a gathering and found her dead on the living room floor.
- Holden went shopping using Betty’s credit cards.
- Police arrested Holden, and he later pled guilty to the home service employee murder and received a life sentence for his crimes.
Betty’s family wasn’t satisfied with Holden’s life sentence. They hired attorneys to sue Spectrum, a trade name for Charter Communications. This case centered on Spectrum’s alleged negligence in hiring and employing Holden.
Lawyers for the Thomas family said that Holden lied on his application, falsifying his work history. They also state that Charter Communications dba Spectrum didn’t verify that work history.
The premise was that if Spectrum had performed due diligence, they would have discovered that Holden lied and wouldn’t have hired him. If Holden didn’t work for the cable company, he wouldn’t have performed a service call in Betty’s home or returned to murder her.
A jury trial decided the civil lawsuit, awarding $375 million for compensatory damages and $7 billion for punitive damages. Jurors found Spectrum guilty of negligence. The company plans to appeal.
Are Employers Liable for Home Service Employee Murder Claims?
Service technicians can commit crimes, including robbery, rape, beatings, identity theft, and murder. People usually allow these people into their homes without question, trusting that the employer vouches for the technician’s integrity.
Although Holden didn’t have a criminal record and passed a background check, Spectrum didn’t verify the information he provided on his job application. As well, Spectrum didn’t regulate company vehicle usage. Holden reportedly displayed warning signs, yet Spectrum failed to act on them. Although the jury found the employer liable for Holden’s actions, Spectrum maintains that it’s not responsible.
In cases like these, lawyers argue a company’s negligence in hiring, supervising, and continuing to employ an individual. If your loved one died because of someone’s negligence, you might qualify to pursue a wrongful death claim. MDK Law Group handles many wrongful death actions, and we can help you with yours.
Why Choose MDK Law Group?
MDK Law Group can pursue compensation for you if your loved one is the victim of a home service employee murder or other third-party negligence. We know the laws and can give you your options. Ask for your free consultation today.