Family: Woman on oxygen dies after power cut off to her home

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MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – JULY 18: A power-usage meter displays a reading at a commercial facility July 18, 2006 in Mount Prospect, Illinois. As hot weather has blanketed much of the nation, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) power company reported July 17, customer demand reached a record 23,000 megawatts. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The family of a New Jersey woman who relied on electric-powered oxygen to breathe said she died Thursday after the state’s largest utility cut off service to her house due to nonpayment.

But Public Service Enterprise Group said they were never told about Linda Daniels’ situation.

Desiree Washington said her 68-year-old mother had congestive heart failure and relied on the oxygen tank in her Newark home to breathe.

Washington said the family had previously notified PSEG of her mother’s medical situation.

“We have reviewed our records dating back to 2016 and there is no indication by the customer of a medical condition in the home prior to disconnection,” the company said. “We never would have disconnected service had we been informed of the circumstances.”

Daniels’ account was “severely in arrears,” and PSEG made “at least 15 attempts” since January to notify her, including two visits, the company said. According to Washington, however, $500 was paid to the utility two days before the power was cut off. PSEG did not say whether they received that payment.

PSEG called her death “a terrible tragedy” and said it is continuing its investigation. Newark police also were investigating.

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