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Elderly Hospice Patient On Oxygen Tank Dies When Electric Company Cuts Off Power In Her Home

by Colt Nava / Jul 09, 2018 05:31 AM EDT
Newark woman dies after power is cut off. Photo by Pexels

Linda Daniels of Newark suffered from congestive heart failure and needed the help of an oxygen tank to survive. The ailing woman had been on hospice care in her home since April, but her local electric provider, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G), shut off power in her house on Thursday morning that left her struggling to breathe in deadly heat.

Despite her condition, the family said that the 68-year-old was in good spirits but relied on her oxygen tank. After the lights went off, the heat became intolerable in the house. Daniels' backup tank ran out of oxygen, so the family called an ambulance. The elderly hospice patient died an hour after the medical team departed.

PSE&G confirmed that they had shut off the power to Linda Daniels' home. The spokesperson, Karen A. Johnson, explained that the account had not been paid for months and that they have repeatedly reached out to the family to notify them about the overdue balance. Johnson then said that the company had not been informed that Daniels had medical issues.

"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,” the spokeswoman for the utility said. “Unfortunately, because there was no response from the customer, the customer was shut off. They had not notified us of any medical circumstances in the home.”

Although the company sent out their condolences to Linda Daniels’ family through its spokeswoman, she noted that they only followed the standard protocol. She also said that the company did nothing illegal.

"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,” Karen A. Johnson added. “Unfortunately, because there was no response from the customer, the customer was shut off. They had not notified us of any medical circumstances in the home.”

The power to Daniels’ home was restored Friday morning. The family still claims they don't understand why it was cut off.

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