AT&T is being sued for $1 million by the family of a Waco, Texas, technician who was slain while making a service call at a customer’s home.
The body of Kenneth Cleveland, an AT&T Waco service technician, was found behind the home he was performing service at in 2016, according to a Dallas Morning News report.
Amber Hicks and Andrea Christian, Cleveland's daughters, filed a gross-negligence lawsuit Tuesday in Dallas district court. His mother, Zella Cleveland, who lived with Cleveland before he died, is also part of the suit.
Cleveland, a 61-year-old technician who had worked for AT&T for 43 years, was originally thought to have died from electrocution while he was on a ladder.
After obtaining more information from the scene and from the medical examiner last June, a Dallas Morning News report revealed that officials declared Cleveland had been killed by "violent acts.”
According to the lawsuit, AT&T sent Cleveland to what it described as a "dangerous area of Waco" for a routine service call near Barron Avenue and Novelty Street on the morning of April 22, 2016.
"He called AT&T at approximately 9 a.m. to report that he was experiencing some sort of issue and/or altercation," according to the lawsuit, but AT&T did not check on Cleveland until around noon that day.
Waco police said they are investigating Cleveland's death as a homicide. As of Tuesday, no arrests had been made.
AT&T is offering a $60,000 reward for any leads that could help police find the perpetrators.
Citing crime reports, the lawsuit referred to what AT&T calls “red zone neighborhoods,” which are known as dangerous areas of the communities it serves.
The lawsuit also alleges that a number of AT&T employees have been “violently assaulted" during service calls, adding that “AT&T failed to provide adequate protection or emergency response assistance to Kenneth Cleveland."
The lawsuit cites Kevin Mashburn, an AT&T service technician who was killed on a service call in Kansas City, Mo., in 2012.