Negro Grandmother Who Needed Electricity For Her Oxygen Tank Dies After Power is Cut Off Because of Unpaid Bills
Newark, NJ — Linda Daniels, a 68-year old grandmother who relied on a plugged-in oxygen tank to breathe, died after the utility company supplying electricity to her home cut off the service because of unpaid overdue bills. Her family desperately pleaded to restore the power, but they were ignored.
Daniels, who was in hospice care, suffered from congestive heart failure and died on Thursday last week — roughly seven hours after energy provider PSEG reportedly turned off the service in her home.
“We put one ice pack here by her side and one on the other side. We were fanning her. It was so hot in here, she couldn’t breathe – it was unbearable,” said her daughter Desiree Washington who was with her mother.
A smaller reserve was used when the electricity-powered oxygen couldn’t work, but it didn’t last long. The family then called emergency services and the paramedics provided a portable unit.
At the same time, they called PSEG multiple times begging them to turn the power back on.
“One rep told me to stop calling, that there were too many tickets in the system,” Desiree told ABC News. “PSEG said ‘Oh, we’re on our way.’ Kept telling us that, but no one showed up.”
Desiree said PSEG shut off her mother’s service because she had fallen behind on payments. As of May 29, there was an unpaid balance of about $1,800, but she claims that they were trying to pay off. Another bill indicates $300 was paid in April, with $450 more sent about a month later, and $500 on July 3, just two days before Daniels died.
Desiree also added that her mother’s medical equipment was registered with the utility company as required.
PSEG claims they notified the customer several times that their account was behind and the service would be terminated.
“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,” it said in a statement.
Power was restored on Friday, but Daniels already died the day before.
“She was the matriarch of this family — she was the glue that held everything together,” Desiree said.
Police are now investigating and PSEG said it would review its records.
Desiree said she is thinking of taking legal action.