Family of slain AT&T worker files gross negligence lawsuit against company

Posted at 10:11 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 19:32:01-04

The family of an AT&T worker killed on the job in a Waco neighborhood has filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the company.

Waco police said someone killed 61-year-old Kenneth Cleveland on April 22, 2016.

Neighbors found his body by a ladder near a home on Barron Avenue. Cleveland was in the area working on a routine service call.

At first, police believed he had been electrocuted. An autopsy later revealed he had been repeatedly stabbed and beaten. His body had also been burned.

Beard Kultgen Brophy Bostwick & Dickson, LLP, out of Waco, submitted the lawsuit in a Dallas County district court.

Cleveland's mother, Zelle, and his daughters, Andrea Christian and Amber Hicks, are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit claims AT&T "failed to provide adequate protection or emergency response assistance."

The lawsuit states Cleveland reached out to AT&T about 9 a.m. the day of his death to report some "sort of issue or altercation." The lawsuit claims the company did not get back in contact with Cleveland until about three hours later.

The family alleges AT&T knew this was a "dangerous [area]," or what the lawsuit said the company refers to as a "red zone neighborhood."

The lawsuit claims at the time of Cleveland's death, the company didn't have "any policies in place requiring that two technicians be sent together into red zone neighborhoods ... did not have any type of panic button or safety device for its employees to utilize in emergencies ... and forbid its employees from carrying any type of personal protection in the field."

As a result, the lawsuit claims Cleveland "died a gruesome and horrific death because of AT&T's systemic and continuous failure to provide protection for its employees in red zone neighborhoods."

The family is seeking more than $1 million in damages, according to the lawsuit.

AT&T released the following statement about the lawsuit:

“Kenny’s death was tragic and our thoughts remain with his family. The safety and welfare of our employees is of paramount concern to us. We have assisted the authorities with their investigation and have offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.”

The lawsuit can be read in full below:

At last check, Cleveland's death is still under investigation.

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