$7 billion in punitive damages has been awarded by a jury against a cable company’s negligence in hiring an employee who killed a customer

A news report from WFAA Channel 8 ABC in Dallas reported on the 26th of July 2022 that a jury in Dallas County has awarded $7 billion in punitive damages for the “systemic safety failures” of a cable company that resulted in the death of an 83-year-old customer, killed in her home by a field technician that was hired out of negligence.

According to WFAA, a verdict earlier reached in June 2022 discovered that the cable company was responsible for the murder of Betty Thomas, who was killed by Roy Holden Jr, an employee of the company, and directed the company to make compensatory payments of about 90 percent of $375 million to the family of the victim while the remaining 10 percent be paid by Holden.

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The family of the victim complained that the cable company stopped implementing a screening program used for employment by the former owner and thus, led to the employment of Holden without any background check on previous employments, which might have revealed that he wasn’t truthful about his work history, according to WFAA.

Furthermore, the trial testimony indicated that an evaluation of Holden’s previous employment history would have shown he has previously been laid off for harassment of fellow employees, forgery, and falsification of documents. Holden was arrested in December 2019 by the police and later pleaded guilty to the murder. He was later sentenced to life imprisonment in April 2021.

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According to another report from the WFAA, a law professor from North Texas indicated that the $7 billion punitive damages were to compel the cable company to increase their screening process when hiring individuals because these employees enter the houses of customers and the safety of these homeowners is paramount.

According to the law professor, the responsibility is imposed on employers. In this case, the duty of care is greater than the regular duty of care because employees have access to homes. The key question here is then, is there a violation of this duty of care?

In a book titled “The Safe Hiring Manual”, the founder of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), Attorney Lester Rosen stated that employers have a crucial responsibility and should be aware that the safety of coworkers and members of the public depends on their hiring process.

A remarkable background evaluation professional, Rosen stated that introducing a Safe Hiring Process assists employers to take reasonable steps when hiring. A Safe Hiring Process can be very effective against negligent hiring cases and recognizing how the required steps connected with negligent hiring lawsuits are crucial for any employer.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a service from ClearStar, A Human Resources innovation agency that focuses on medication, background, occupational, and medical screening – provides background evaluation solutions to assist employers to avoid negligent hiring cases.

Please note: Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – solution offered by us doesn’t offer any kind or type of legal advice or service. The information provided on this website is only for educational purposes.

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