March 29, 2013

Prominent Security Company Costs Customer Her Life

In 2006 Teri Lee and her boyfriend were shot dead in their bed in West Lakeland Township, Minnesota. Lee and her new boyfriend were murdered by a crazed gunman, an ex-boyfriend.

While the victim had a security system installed, Ms. Lee’s estate sued the security company, ADT, saying their security system didn’t work (Read more here…).

During an investigation conducted by an industry expert, IDS Research and Development Inc., apparently the security system that the woman purchased from ADT was improperly installed and serviced by the installer and servicing technician.

According to the lawsuit, it of alleges the security system failures were:

  • A phone-line monitor that was installed should have sounded the alarms when the alleged perpetrator cut the outside lines. The monitor was wrongfully disabled.
  • A glass-break detector in the family room had been improperly installed and failed to activate when the perpetrator used a crowbar to break a window.
  • Two motion detectors failed to detect the intruder as he walked from the basement to the upstairs bedroom because ADT had programmed them to be off at that time when the victim set the system at a night mode.

The lawsuit also alleges that the security system’s “catastrophic failure…was a direct and proximate result of ADT’s failure to complete its work and failure to properly provide all of the critical layers of security protection that ADT had represented to Teri Lee that she was purchasing.”

Lee’s estate sued ADT seeking more than $20 million for their mother’s murder. The settlement amount is undetermined and sealed by court order, but it’s believed to be a multi-million dollar amount. It does not require ADT to admit any fault. (Read more…)

This is another fine example of what happens when a security company fails to hire skilled professionals and a company that has high attrition, hardly any technical training for sales, installers and managers.

With many companies that have become too big for their own customer’s’ good, the focus becomes more on on getting the next sale and the monthly revenue rather than customer service and doing the right thing.