PSE&G Company Kills Newark Woman for Non-payment of Debts
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY — July 10, 2018
A 68-year-old Newark woman, Linda Daniels, died soon after the PSE&G company turned off her electricity for non-payment. She survived only a few hours due to her oxygen tank.
According to Accuweather data, the temperature in Newark was in the 90s on Thursday afternoon.
The woman was in her Shephard Avenue home with her family for hours, when her oxygen tank powered by electricity and air-conditioning stopped working about 10 a.m. Thursday. She died of heart failure.
"She was trying to catch her breath - she was gasping for air," said her granddaughter, Mia, 28. "She suffered and she passed right in front of us. She was gasping until the time she died."
Family members called PSE&G throughout the day, pleading with them to turn the power back on.
"We made numerous calls. We have a large family and everyone in our family was calling," she said. "They told us they would be rolling a truck. The truck did not come until the next day."
When the police officer asked why Desiree could not pay debts, she answered, that her mother had just paid $500 two days before.
"She had just paid $500 two days before," said Daniels' daughter, Desiree Washington. "And she's a senior. We asked them, 'Why are you turning off her electric at the pole?'”
Then PSE&G representative told them to stop calling and turned the phone off.
Then Desiree called 911. Paramedics came to them and gave Linda oxygen from a portable tank.
Later PSE&G said in a statement that service to Daniels' home was disconnected "due to lack of payment over several months."
"While there will be a complete investigation of this matter, our records indicate that this account was severely in arrears and we made at least 26 attempts to notify the customer since January 2018, including two visits to the residence prior to the disconnection," said a company spokesman Jim Namiotka.
"Also 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," she added.
Earlier Daniels' daughter had informed the utility company of mother's medical issues several times, in writing.
The power went back on around 8:30 a.m. Friday, the family members said.
"We are horrified. We are angry," Desiree said. "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."
In addition to a son and daughter, Linda Daniels leaves behind five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
The police are investigating the case.