Woman on oxygen tank dies after her power is cut off

09 Juillet, 2018, 18:56 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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Desiree Washington says her 68-year-old mother Linda Daniels relied on an electric-powered oxygen tank to breathe, and she died of heart failure Thursday hours after Public Service Enterprise Group turned off the electricity at her Newark home.

Linda Daniels of Newark suffered from congestive heart failure, and had been on hospice care in her home since April, according to early reports from News 12. "And she's a senior". Last Thursday, as the summer temperature reportedly shot into the 90s, Daniels's electricity was cut off by the local power company, PSE&G.

Desiree said she applied ice packs to her mother's sides and was fanning her throughout the day.

But Desiree said the utility company, PSEG, told her to stop calling them because there were too many tickets in the system. "She was gasping until the time she died".

The power was apparently shut off because Linda had fallen behind on payments. "We asked them, 'Why are you turning off her electric at the pole?'"

"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", said Jim Namiotka, a company spokesman.

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"We made numerous calls".

State regulations prohibit utility companies from cutting services for non-payment if a medical emergency exists.

"PSEG said 'Oh, we're on our way.' They kept telling us that, but no one showed up. We are reviewing our records to determine what transpired". "We encourage customers who have medical issues to contact us so that we can note their circumstances on their accounts", Namiotka said. Desiree also said that Linda's medical equipment was registered with the company, though PSEG told WABC they had not been notified of the device and were unaware of Daniels' medical needs. The reason for the New Jersey great-grandmother's death, per her family: PSE&G turned off her electricity due to an unpaid bill.

Power was eventually restored to the family on July 6, the day after Daniels died. "And there are a lot of people like her".

The power went back on around 8:30 a.m. Friday, the family said. It's so sad she had to go like that.

Her son Sam told News 12 the company had told him payments of at least $300 a month were required to keep the power flowing.

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