COVINGTON, Ky. (CN) - In a class action, a woman claims a DirecTV affiliate hired an installer with a criminal history who photographed and stole underwear from her and her daughter, then wrote fantasies about them and posted them on the Internet.
The woman, M.B., seeks punitive damages from Multiband EC Corp. and DirecTV and Joseph McCaleb, who is in jail. She alleges trespass and conversion, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, in Kenton County Court.
She claims the defendants hired McCaleb as a satellite TV installer, knowing he would enter people's homes, despite his history that included domestic relations orders and criminal violations of the orders, enabling McCaleb to "enter the homes of DirecTV subscribers and steal young girl's underwear and women's lingerie." McCaleb, whose address is listed as the Ripley County, Indiana Jail, was hired by Multiband EC, a subcontractor of DirecTV, to install satellite TV in customers' residences despite having been "terminated from a job with similar duties ... for question[able] behavior and activities while on the clock," according to the complaint.
The woman claims McCaleb "would take pictures of feminine clothing and write fantasies and nickname the women whom he had visited. He also would attempt to contact the subscribers via the Internet using Facebook or text message them.
"As an employee of Multiband he would have access to subscribers' names, addresses and telephone numbers.
"On more than once occasion, McCaleb would burglarize subscribers' homes, including plaintiff."
Suing on her own behalf and for her minor daughter, M.B. claims that "while installing the DirecTV, McCaleb stole numerous articles of the plaintiffs' clothing including bathing suits, underwear and lingerie. McCaleb told the plaintiff ... that he had not completed the work and would need to return the next day to complete the project.
"McCaleb returned ... to complete the installation of the satellite television wiring and system. While at the residence, the defendant engaged the plaintiff's children in conversation, finding out their names and other information. Upon information and belief, McCaleb had not been issued a work order by Multiband EC to return to the (plaintiffs') residence.
"During one of his two visits to the (plaintiffs') residence, McCaleb stole clothing items. It is believed he also took photographs of the undergarments in the plaintiff's daughter's bedroom on her bed.
"As was customary with many of his victims, he wrote journal entries and other inappropriate writings and fantasies about the plaintiff and her daughter. McCaleb nicknamed the plaintiffs based on their clothing and physical features. It is believed McCaleb posted these writings on the Internet."
The complaint states that McCaleb had a civil protection order filed against him in Greene County, Ohio with charges that "included the following, which are part of public records accessible by the public and potential employers of the defendant, including defendant Multiband: 'McCaleb sent retaliatory emails ... left unsolicited gifts ... sent emails that threatened violence causing the victim to relocate; [and] McCaleb intercepted the victim's credit card statements while using his computer.'"
Suing as representatives of all DirecTV customers who were subjected to similar experiences, the mother and daughter say: "Multiband EC had a duty to conduct reasonable background searches and have diligent hiring practices when employing people who had access to private property and personal residences of DirecTV subscribers.
"Multiband EC failed in discovering during its hiring practices that Joseph McCaleb had a prior criminal record which a reasonable employer would have discovered through a criminal background check, a fingerprint check, or a 'google' search of Joseph McCaleb's name."
M.B. seeks punitive damages for negligent hiring and supervision, conversion, trespass and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
She is represented by Steven Megerle, of Covington.