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

  1. #81
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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    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).
    By no means am I disagreeing with your first point. If any of half a dozen people had done one thing differently, this might not have happened. I'm just noting that in situations like this, it can't always be prevented unless you impose massive restrictions on the power companies or you start going into peoples homes and putting them into state custody.
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  2. #82
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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post
    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.
    I am 38 years old, reasonably intelligent, and I still get frustrated dealing with government bureaucrats. I can't imagine how a 93-year-old would feel.
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  3. #83
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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.
    Sadly, he doesn't have any family.
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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?
    So, a person's life is only worth 1,000 bucks?

    -They supposedly made several phone calls and went to his house at least once, but he never answered the phone or the door.
    There is no such information in any of the articles I have read about this story.

    -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?
    They should exhaust every possible option with a person, including governent programs, before cutting the power on ANYONE in the dead of winter, much less a 93-year-old man.

    -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?
    The electric company apparently knew something was wrong. They could have called social services to go in and check on him.
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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    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?
    Yes.

    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.
    Sent multiple notices means they were mailed. The articles I read showed no evidence that anyone from the power company (or any other government agency) knocked on his door. From what I have read, apparently they just installed the limiter and went on their merry way.

    Again, why is that the responsibility of the power company? What if the person doesn't answer the phone or the door?
    Call social services. That takes all of what, 30 seconds?

    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?
    He had a problem, so that means the electric company can disconnect the power and thus kill him? That's ok?

    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.
    I agree, he should not have been living alone. Unfortunately, he had no family to bring him to a nursing home or hospital. Perhaps someone from the power company should have invested THIRTY SECONDS to call social services.



    FOXNews.com - Freezing Death of Michigan Man, 93, Inside Home Sparks Anger - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News[/QUOTE]
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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    By no means am I disagreeing with your first point. If any of half a dozen people had done one thing differently, this might not have happened. I'm just noting that in situations like this, it can't always be prevented unless you impose massive restrictions on the power companies or you start going into peoples homes and putting them into state custody.
    Power companies are a public trust and in most places are monopolies. This means that they have to live up to a higher standard.
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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    Dude was 93. That's about 17, 18 years past the expiration date for that product.

    I don't get all bent out of shape when a 93-year-old dies. Its sad, but it ain't a tragedy.

    A tragedy is a 9 and 3 year old dying.
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    Re: 93-year-old froze to death, owed big utility bill

    or throwing a 4 year old off a bridge

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    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    How the hell did you just tie in a retroactive reparative measure with a proactive preventative measure. Not even close to being the same thing.

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