A New Jersey woman died in hospice care on Thursday after an electric company shut off power to her home due to an unpaid bill.
The family of Linda Daniels is speaking out after the tragic death of the family matriarch–who relied on power to keep her oxygen tank running. Daniels,68, who suffered from congestive heart failure died on July 5, WABC-TV reports.
Daniels’ daughter, Desiree spoke to the outlet, expressing the magnitude of her loss. Desiree said the family tried to keep Daniels comfortable in the sweltering heat after PSEG cut the power supply to Daniels’ 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,” she said.
After the family depleted an emergency supply of energy, they called an EMS who gave them an additional reserve. Desiree said the family also reached out to PSEG, begging them to turn the electricity back on, but to no avail, their requests were unfulfilled.
“One rep told me to stop calling, that there were too many tickets in the system,” she said. “PSEG said ‘Oh, we’re on our way.’ Kept telling us that, but no one showed up.”
Desiree says that her mother’s equipment was registered with PSEG. The family had paid $1,250 of their $1,800 past due balance. PSEG maintains they notified the customer that the power would be cut off if the balance wasn’t paid.
“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,” PSEG said in a statement to the outlet.
Power was restored one day after Daniels died. Newark police are investigating while PSEG said it will review records. Desiree is still determining whether she will take legal action.
“She was the matriarch of this family – she was the glue that held everything together,” Desiree said.