Spectrum cable ordered to pay north of $7 billion to family of an elderly woman murdered by an installer

Originally published at: Spectrum cable ordered to pay north of $7 billion to family of an elderly woman murdered by an installer | Boing Boing

4 Likes

Wow, that’s horrible.

Cable installer does make a lot of sense as a cover for casing houses.

I think Spectrum is awful. I had TimeWarner cable/internet for a while, and when Spectrum bought TW, the customer service got noticeably meaner. But now I kind of feel bad for their HR department. What a nasty thing to have to figure out how to avoid.

1 Like

Now do Alex Jones

3 Likes

The same goes for security system installers. In the past, I purposely avoided companies that outsourced or used contractors instead of actual employees. Some companies do that just to avoid liability, and the complaints people posted online about bad experiences that never got resolved because of that practice were real eye-openers.

Why? A basic background check would have raised red flags in this case. Too many companies and institutions (like schools) either throw up their hands entirely or perform checks after the person starts work (because of backlogs and/or costs involved):

10 Likes

That’s a good point. I was imagining having to figure this out via interviews.

6 Likes

Absolutely right. Years ago I was doing background checks for a company that was hiring entry level security guards. I remember one applicant that came in. The background check showed that he had served time in prison on a rape charge. Probably not the kind of person you want in a guard uniform. If it was a non-violent felony that would have been a different story.

9 Likes

I often think about this driving down the 55mph two lane highway for many miles daily. All it takes is one driver having a bad day to accidentally or intentionally cross that yellow line.

I always wonder about these big awards, Charter/Spectrum said they intend to appeal. If a judge allows the appeal that would drag this on for a few more years.

Do these companies and the victims ever sit down and settle for some number way way way below the 7 billion. I mean if they offered to write me a check for 100 million on the spot I’d walk away.

I have no idea what the family is going through and this company needs to pay, I was just always curious if settlements are made after the award if there is intent to appeal. Or is this company looking for a complete free pass?

Hopefully this answers the question:

The jury also found that after Thomas’ family filed a lawsuit, attorneys for the communications company “used a forged document to try to force the lawsuit into a closed-door arbitration where the results would have been secret and damages for the murder would have been limited to the amount of Ms. Thomas’s final bill.“

20 Likes

Obligatory…

6 Likes

Yeah, this is the kind of thing where a corporate death penalty should come into play. If you’re that corrupt, the state should sieze your assets and/or operate your business rather than allow you to continue to do harm as a business.

24 Likes

Pirates Of The Caribbean Agree GIF

19 Likes

And to add extra insult to injury that final bill included charging for the very service call that led to her murder. When I first saw the headline I admit that the $7B number sounded a bit excessive, but now, if anything, it sounds too low. That corporation should not be allowed to continue to exist.

21 Likes

" 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."

This wording makes it sound like the money was paid. Meanwhile, no money has been paid.

12 Likes

I agree with the verdict, but most of that $7B should be going to all the other Charter customers who were exposed to the same risks by the company’s incompetence and were lucky enough to not become real victims. The initial $375M seems like enough to the family.

1 Like

Perhaps there was a better way to phrase this.

7 Likes

Perhaps. The whole episode is deeply tragic. But where Charter’s criminal malfeasance (I can’t even call it incompetence) impacted the safety and security of literally hundreds of thousands of other customers, awarding a single victim’s family billions (after awarding them sizable criminal liability damages) practically guarantees that none of the other customers whose safety Charter gambled with will ever see any justice at all.

Four people dead this afternoon.

“A northbound passenger car traveled left of center and collided head on”

2 Likes

Lock up the entire board and C-suite for life. Dissolve the company or turn it into a municipally run provider.

4 Likes
7 Likes

As if that’s not bad enough, the murder happened several hours after the promised 11am-2pm service call window.

1 Like