We try not to think about it, but there's an enormous amount of social trust we rely on for daily interactions. A trip to your favorite fast food spot could quickly become tragic if the clerk behind the counter has a screw loose. The same applies to any service person that enters your home. We'd like to believe that whatever vetting process a company utilizes when hiring an employee will shield us from danger, and most times, we're correct. However, there are always a few monsters that slip through the cracks.
When Betty Thomas allowed Roy James Holden into her home for a cable installation in 2019, she could have never assumed the man would murder her the following day. A few days ago, Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum cable, was forced to pay north of $7 billion in damages to Thomas' family by a Dallas county jury. The story is a chilling reminder of how unpredictable life can be.
Holden returned the next day in uniform and using the company's van while he was off, posing as if he was on the job, and killed her, then used her cards for a shopping spree after her murder, prosecutors said.
In June, a Dallas County jury found Charter Communications negligent and grossly negligent in Thomas' death.
The jury awarded a verdict of $375 million in compensatory damages and said the company was responsible for paying 90% of it after the trial revealed "systemic failures" in the company's pre-employee screening, hiring and supervision practices.