Image: Charter Communications Inc.

A jury in Texas found Charter Communications liable for $7 billion in punitive damages this week as the result of a lawsuit from the family of Betty Jo McClain Thomas, an 83-year-old woman who was stabbed to death by one of its employees in December 2019. The $7 billion is in addition to $375 million in compensatory damages the jury assigned in June.

The explanation behind the staggering figure of the verdict goes well beyond the horrific crime committed. It also includes the company’s policies and responses to previous incidents of theft and an attempt to forge a document showing Thomas agreed to forced arbitration that would have limited potential damages to the amount of her last bill.


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