BOCA RATON (CBSMiami) -- Family members of a Boca Raton woman who police say was beaten, set on fire and later died at the hands of a delivery worker, filed a lawsuit Friday morning.
Jorge Luis Dupre Lachazo, 21, is charged with murder, battery, and arson in the death of 75-year-old Evelyn Udell on August 19, 2019.
"We learned that our beloved grandmother, wife, mother-in-law and sister had been savagely beaten, burned within the sanctity of her peaceful quiet suburban home," said Sloane Udell, Udell's daughter-in-law, while speaking before cameras for the first time Friday on the family's behalf.
Police said Lachazo, of Hialeah, was delivering a washer and dryer from Best Buy to Udell when he beat her with a mallet, doused her with a toxic chemical, then set her on fire.
Best Buy contracted with the delivery company JB Hunt, which in turn sub-contracted with XM Delivery of Miami.
According to attorneys for Morgan & Morgan, the lawsuit includes Best Buy, JB Hunt, and XM Services Inc.
"We have filed a lawsuit against Best Buy, JB Hunt and XM Delivery Service to hold them accountable for failing to conduct adequate background checks on the workers they're sending to customers' homes," said Morgan and Morgan attorney Nick Panagakis. "The attack on Evy— and others across the country by employees of major, national retail chains—should never have happened. "
Udell's family also wants changes to the law regarding how employers screen in-home service workers. They allege the fatal attack was preventable had the companies taken the proper steps to screen their employees.
"Had this company conducted a background check on this particular person this incident never happens, Evy Udell is not dead," said attorney John Morgan of Morgan and Morgan.
Udell's daughter-in-law also said in a statement that since Evelyn's death, the family has learned that violence "perpetrated by home delivery man, is not an isolated or even uncommon act. Instead, across our country, the vulnerable have been targeted by those we trust and allow into our homes. We do business with well-known companies under the assumption that we will be safe. Tragically, that is not the case," wrote Sloane Udell.
Her family has also "funded a charitable trust to support causes that she loved, especially libraries and literacy projects," said Sloane.
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