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Thread: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by sazerac View Post
    WBBM 780 - Chicago's #1 source for local news, traffic and weather - Cook County Money For Your Heating Bill



    Oh. Federal dollars are available to the states to help out the poor in the winter. Hmm...
    Money available to the poor only helps them if they're mentally sound enough to access it. I imagine applying for aid would be near impossible for a 93 year old. They'd have to know where to go, who to talk to, what to fill out, how to fill it out, etc. Besides the guy had money.

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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    You don't have the right to take away a service that could kill that person. I don't know about Michigan, but in many places, electric services are considered a public trust and is a government granted monopoly. With that comes certain responsibilities to the public. Cutting off power to anyone, much less a 93-year-old man, in the middle of a Michigan winter, is an abrogation of that responsibility.
    Exactly.

    His family is going to be very weathy very soon.

    The utility company is guilty of negligent homocide.

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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    I suppose if it were summer he should be able to get free electricity because he couldn't survive in the heat?

    Excuses, excuses. He would have been sent letters stating the companies intention to cut him off, the old man is not entirely blameless and could have called someone to help him. Pride killed him.
    My grandfather lives in Philly. A few years ago he called me to demand that I come over immediately and fix his tv. I lived in WA at the time and had lived here for 5 years. I use to live right down the street from him. As far as he's concerned I still do. Old people simply can not live in isolation. I don't know how they manage without family.

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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post
    It's not overly presumptuous to assume dementia in a 93 year old. Most 93 year olds are ill equipped to completely care for themselves in isolation - without supervision by friends and family. If he died of hypothermia due to his heat being turned off while money sat in the house stapled to the bills he needed to pay dementia seems rather certain IMO.
    I'm not claiming that dementia is out of the question, I'm simply saying that we don't know that dementia was the problem with this gentleman. My first post had a couple of examples of why the bill might not have been paid, and there are probably dozens more scenarios that could have been the case in this situation.

    I didn't think any utility company cut off heat in the middle of the winter, so I'm quite shocked by the actions of this one.

    • "The America Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." -- Alexis de Tocqueville





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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    Exactly.

    His family is going to be very weathy very soon.

    The utility company is guilty of negligent homocide.
    What family?
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    Don't apologize to me over that silly ****. I could care less if I can see the dust or not.
    Now apologize for apologizing!

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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Gill View Post
    I'm not claiming that dementia is out of the question, I'm simply saying that we don't know that dementia was the problem with this gentleman. My first post had a couple of examples of why the bill might not have been paid, and there are probably dozens more scenarios that could have been the case in this situation.

    I didn't think any utility company cut off heat in the middle of the winter, so I'm quite shocked by the actions of this one.
    I find it odd that they can send someone to put a restriction device on his meter, but they could not have that same person knock on the door.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Don't apologize to me over that silly ****. I could care less if I can see the dust or not.
    Now apologize for apologizing!

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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    This is the type of thing that people tend to get irrationally angry about, so it's worthwhile to restate some important facts:

    -The guy had over $1k in unpaid bills - how many months is that? Would the power company have been justified in shutting off his power the day that he missed his first payment, if it had been back in August? Does the fact that they were lenient enough to give him however long to pay his bills mean that they should be punished?

    -They supposedly made several phone calls and went to his house at least once, but he never answered the phone or the door.

    -What exactly do you think power companies should do in situations like this? If someone living in a place like Michigan where it's cold 6 months of the year stops paying their power bill in September, should they just get free power until March before the company can do anything about it? What about if someone in Alaska stops paying their power bill - should they just get free power forever because it's always too cold to live without power?

    -At the point where the power had been shut off and the guy was leaving his oven open to heat the house, did he ever call anyone to ask them for help? A neighbor? The city? Anyone? If not, and if he had no family, then he shouldn't have been living alone by himself because he clearly wasn't capable of taking care of himself. Whose fault is that?
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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    This is the type of thing that people tend to get irrationally angry about, so it's worthwhile to restate some important facts:

    -The guy had over $1k in unpaid bills - how many months is that? Would the power company have been justified in shutting off his power the day that he missed his first payment, if it had been back in August? Does the fact that they were lenient enough to give him however long to pay his bills mean that they should be punished?
    Most utilities don't cut off power during the winter months.

    -They supposedly made several phone calls and went to his house at least once, but he never answered the phone or the door.
    Where did you get this info??

    -What exactly do you think power companies should do in situations like this? If someone living in a place like Michigan where it's cold 6 months of the year stops paying their power bill in September, should they just get free power until March before the company can do anything about it? What about if someone in Alaska stops paying their power bill - should they just get free power forever because it's always too cold to live without power?
    If they are aged like this gentleman, they should personally talk to them and get them help if needed.

    -At the point where the power had been shut off and the guy was leaving his oven open to heat the house, did he ever call anyone to ask them for help? A neighbor? The city? Anyone? If not, and if he had no family, then he shouldn't have been living alone by himself because he clearly wasn't capable of taking care of himself. Whose fault is that?
    Where did you hear that he had his oven on?

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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Gill View Post
    Most utilities don't cut off power during the winter months.
    And I think that's rather nice that many choose not to, but it doesn't change the question. If someone stops paying their bill the day it drops below 50, should the power company be required to keep providing them power until it warms up again?

    Where did you get this info??
    Every story I read said that they "sent him multiple notices" and that a worker went to his house, installed a limiting device, and left a note on the door. Logically, one would assume that the guy knocked on the door.

    If they are aged like this gentleman, they should personally talk to them and get them help if needed.
    Again, why is that the responsibility of the power company? What if the person doesn't answer the phone or the door?

    This guy FROZE TO DEATH. He obviously had something wrong with him, otherwise he would have, I dunno, called someone? Said something? Asked for help?

    Is it absolutely terrible that a 93 year old who most likely had some sort of mental degeneration died like this. I'm just noting that this is the type of thing that families are designed to deal with, and if there is no family, government needs to step in. If the guy is not capable of paying a bill or making a phone call, he should not be living on his own.


    Where did you hear that he had his oven on?
    FOXNews.com - Freezing Death of Michigan Man, 93, Inside Home Sparks Anger - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

    A heating pad was on his favorite armchair by the window. The oven door was open, perhaps to heat the place.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    -The guy had over $1k in unpaid bills - how many months is that?
    Apparently 4. The power company is State run, so it can't quite claim what a private one can. Still, it is true that they do have the ability to cut off service when payment isn't rendered. The problem then becomes, what do you do in extreme heat or cold? Do you let someone freeze to death and say it's ok because they hadn't paid or do you try to institute policies and payment plans to try to get some money while keeping people relatively safe. And what role does family/neighbors play in this? Should they also be watching over their elderly and making sure that they are ok? I think in general, there were failings on all fronts. I'm not sure I like the whole leaving a note thing instead of talking with the resident that the State had with the use of limiters.

    As for this thing about the man's family getting rich from this; on that front I don't think they deserve a dime. He didn't have kids, and his wife already had died. But if he had other family ready to sue, I'd question why that family wasn't checking up on him to see if he was ok and was doing the things he needed to do (i.e. paying his bills).
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