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Charter reduces financial award in lawsuit over murdered customer

(Logo: Charter Communications, Graphic: The Desk)

Charter Communications will not have to pay a $7 billion award to the family of a woman who was murdered by one of its technicians several years ago.

According to a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Charter was able to reduce the judgment with the family of Betty Thomas, who was fatally stabbed by Charter technician Roy Holden in 2019.

The settlement came while Charter was appealing the verdict. As part of the settlement, Charter has agreed to pay an amount that will be fully covered by its liability insurance. The total amount wasn’t revealed, but it was “substantially lower” than the $268 million that the family previously agreed to during an earlier settlement conference.

A jury found Charter liable for Thomas’ death because it did not conduct thorough background checks on Holden while ignoring signs that the technician suffered a combination of emotional and financial distress. Charter was also accused of interfering with the investigation into the 83-year-old woman’s death.

Last July, Charter affirmed it would appeal the jury’s $7 billion award, complaining that the family’s case lacked certain details that proved the telecom was liable for her death.

Charter offers television, cable Internet and wireless phone service under the Spectrum brand name.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).