The death of a Maryland family of carbon monoxide poisoning may have been preventable according to new reports, and it has cast electric company Delmarva Power in a most unflattering light. According to the Associated Press, the Delmarva Power disrupted services because an illegal meter was attached to the rented trailer in Princess Anne where Rodney Todd lived with his two sons and five daughters. Delmarva Power spokesman Matt Likovich insists that power was not stopped because Todd was behind on his bill, but rather “for safety reasons.”
This explanation directly contradicts the claim made by Bonnie and Lloyd Edwards, the mother and stepfather of Rodney Todd. They told the Associated Press that Delmarva Power cut off the family’s electricity because Rodney had fallen behind in payment. It was the reason he bought a gas generator. When asked whether or not the company indeed cut the power for non-payment, Delmarva Power would not comment, only insisting that an illegal meter was to blame.
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (@AP) – Delmarva Power removed stolen electric meter from rental home where 8 died of gas poisoning
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) April 7, 2015
Todd and his children were discovered by police on Monday in their home after concerned co-workers noted that he hadn’t shown up to work on Saturday. Likovich said that Delmarva Power is sorry about the tragedy and insists that any customer with power issues contact them to ensure they are receiving “safe electrical service.”
As news of the Maryland family’s death spreads, a debate has emerged over whether Delmarva Power is responsible for the deaths or the deceased Rodney Todd himself was to blame. Commenter Sharon Jones told People readers that she believes that Delmarva Power callously and knowingly cut power over money rather than an illegal meter.
“[L]et me say this about Delmarva Power, they really don’t care about folks. I worked for many years as a case worker for under privileged people. They cut off this woman’s electric because they said that she had not paid her bills. However, she had receipts to support that she paid the bills.
“I had to fight the utility company and even when I produced copies of those receipts they still said she was lying about paying the bills. So I had to get the MPC involved in this fight. I had to write reports and testify in this womans behalf. Not to mention, that she was asthmatic, breast cancer survivor, suffered from epilepsy and other chronic illness as well as having two special needs children.
“Despite all of that, they cut her electric off.”
It’s pointed out that regardless of Delmarva Power’s action or the reason behind it, Todd was the one who elected to run the gas-powered generator inside the family’s kitchen rather than placing it outside. The carbon monoxide tragedy was argued to be preventable not merely because of Delmarva Power’s actions, but because of the actions of 36-year-old Todd.
— Christie Ileto (@Christie_Ileto) April 7, 2015
Princess Anne Police Chief Scott Keller suggested that the reason the generator was likely in the home was because Rodney didn’t want to disturb his neighbors.
Do you agree that the victim is to blame for this tragic outcome or the actions of Delmarva Power? Why do you think people are looking to assign blame in the first place?
[Image Credit: Point 1 TV/WMDT 47/13 WJZ]