Woman Dies After Utility Company Shut Off House Power — Oxygen Tank Stopped Working

Posted On : 07/09/2018

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY — A family is heartbroken. One of their own died just hours after the utility company shut off power to the woman’s house. She was in hospice care at the time.

According to New Jersey Advanced Media, 68-year-old Linda Daniels relied on an electric-powered oxygen tank in order to breathe.

The source says she died on Thursday, July 5 — around 4:23 p.m. — in her Newark home after suffering congestive heart failure.

Reportedly, her daughter — Desiree Washington — was with her that day.

“We put one ice pack here by her side and one on the other side,” Desiree mentions. “We were fanning her. It was so hot in here, she couldn’t breathe — it was unbearable.”

Washington states that her mother had just paid $500 two days prior to the PSE&G company turning off their power.

“And she’s a senior. We asked them, ‘Why are you turning off her electric at the pole?'”

“We made numerous calls,” Washington exclaimed. “We have a large family and everyone in our family was calling. They told us they would be rolling a truck. The truck did not come until the next day.”

Washington says they ended up calling paramedics to help with the situation, and they provided a portable unit. Yet, the entire time, the family pleaded with PSE&G to restore power.

THE DISRESPECT

The daughter says customer service reps even started to get nasty with the family about their calls.

“One rep told me to stop calling, that there were too many tickets in the system,” Washington told the source. “PSE&G said ‘Oh, we’re on our way.’ Kept telling us that, but no one showed up.”

Washington recalls it must’ve been one of the hottest days of the year.

Washington noted her mother’s medical equipment was registered with the utility company.

The power had been shut off because Daniels had fallen behind on payments. Reportedly, as of May 29, there was an approximate balance of $1,800.

Yet, one bill indicates $300 was sent in April, $450 another month, and $500 on July 3 — two days before Daniels died.

THE COMPANY RESPONDS

According to the source, PSE&G said it notified the customer regarding the account being behind and that her service would be terminated.

Jim Namiotka, a company spokesman, mentioned as follows.

“As part of our policy, PSE&G had notified this customer numerous times that their account was in arrears and that they would be scheduled for a service termination unless the account was made current.”

Reportedly, PSE&G stated that the customer hadn’t responded to their notices. Likewise according to the company, the family hadn’t notified them of any medical situation in the household prior to the cut off.

Yet, Washington says many family members as well as hospice workers have written the company various times about Daniels’ medical condition.

“We are reviewing our records to determine what transpired,” Namiotka told the source. “We encourage customers who have medical issues to contact us so that we can note their circumstances on their accounts.”

Power was restored Friday, the day after Daniels died.

“We are horrified. We are angry,” Washington mentioned to the source. “My mother was a taxpayer for 46 years. It’s so sad she had to go like that. And I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

Reportedly, Newark Police are now investigating the incident.

While Washington is considering legal action, for now, she’s strictly focusing on her mother’s funeral — to be held on Wednesday, July 11.

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[Featured Photo via The Grio / Twitter]

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