Family says PSE&G knew of woman’s fatal condition before shutting power
NEWARK — As Linda Daniels was laid to rest, her family continued its fight against PSE&G, which shut off her power hours before she died from congestive heart failure in her stifling hot apartment.
The 68-year-old passed away Friday in her apartment hours after the utility turned off the power. PSE&G said they were not made aware of Daniels' condition, citing a review of their records dating back to 2016. After learning of her condition when the power was off, the company began the process of restoring power.
Desiree Washington told New Jersey 101.5 that a utility worker was told in June "face to face" that her mother needed oxygen.
"They said 'no problem,' they will update the account," she said.
Utilities are not allowed to disconnect power to customers suffering from serious medical issues.
PSE&G said it made 26 attempts to contact Daniels since January about her account, which was in arrears. The family showed a bank statement to media outlets showing a $500 payment was made "days" before. PSE&G would not say if that payment had been applied to the account.
The state regulatory Board of Public Utilities said they will investigate the circumstances surrounding Daniels' death.
"As part of our investigation we are in the process of gathering all appropriate information in order to determine how this could have occurred," the BPU said in a statement. Newark police are also investigating.
Daniels was laid to rest on Wednesday at the First Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church.