Comcast Faces Wrongful Death Suit

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Comcast and its subcontract firm, Premier Cable Communications, were on notice that they had a dangerous employee in the field, according to a lawsuit filed this week in Chicago over alleged murders by a technician employed by Premier.

The technician, Anthony Triplett, 25, is in Cook County jail awaiting trial. Investigators allege that he killed two subscribers: Janice Ordidge Aug. 12, 2006, and Urszula Sakowska Dec. 8, 2006.

The lawsuit was filed March 6 in the Circuit Court of Cook County by Grzegory Magiera, the fiancé of the second victim. Magiera is the administrator of Sakowska's estate, acting for the victim's parents and two sisters, each of whom lives in Poland.

The suit alleged that Comcast, several of its regional business entities and Premier were negligent in their supervision of Triplett.

The employee was questioned by police after Ordidge was found dead in her apartment. The suit alleged that Comcast was in contact with police and knew that officials were investigating Triplett's involvement in that death. Triplett remained on the job, however, according to the suit. Sakowska, another Triplett service customer, was beaten, raped and strangled after the company was contacted, according to the suit.

In response to inquiries about the suit, Comcast released a statement: "We remain saddened by this tragic event and extend our deepest sympathies to the families. We continue to cooperate fully with authorities throughout their investigation but cannot comment further due to the pending litigation."

This is not the first claim against Comcast for the illegal activities of a subcontractor in its employ. For instance, in 2003, the parents of a developmentally disabled child in Sacramento, Calif., sued Comcast when their daughter was raped by a subcontract employee whose past convictions for rape were not revealed in the employment-screening process.

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