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Seattle, WA

Power Cut Off Kills Mother of 4

'Angry' family take aim at firm after power cut off By KIM RUSCOE and MICHAEL FIELD - The Dominion Post | Friday, 1 June 2007 The family of an Auckland woman who died after the power was cut to her oxygen machine have engaged a lawyer to take on the electricity company. Mother of four Folole Muliaga, 44, died on Tuesday, three hours after a Mercury Energy contractor cut power to her Mangere home – and her electrically operated oxygen machine – because she was late paying a bill of $168.40. The family of the Samoan mother and pre-school teacher has said it pleaded with the contractor not to cut the power because it was needed to operate her machine. "The family is very angry. They've asked me this afternoon to engage legal representation, " family spokesman Brenden Sheehan said yesterday. "We'll be taking this as far as we can." However, Mercury Energy said it had "not put a foot wrong" in the case and it was co-operating with the police. "We were not aware of Mrs Muliaga's condition and we absolutely do agree, as does everyone in New Zealand, no-one should ever die because the power is cut off," said Doug Heffernan, chief executive of Mighty River Power, Mercury's owner. However, the family has hired Auckland lawyer Olinda Woodroffe, who has also represented Thai tiler Sunan Siriwan in the Taito Phillip Field case, to take the matter further. Sheehan said a family doctor confirmed Muliaga was being treated for a cardiomyopathy, which Auckland University associate professor of cardiology Rob Doughty described as "basically a weak heart". She was hospitalised with the condition for about a month and released three weeks ago, Sheehan said. Police released Muliaga's body to a funeral home yesterday and she was expected to be returned to the family today. At a press conference in Auckland yesterday, Heffernan blamed the Privacy Act for preventing medical authorities giving crucial information to power companies. Heffernan said electricity companies had developed a code of practice on how to deal with situations where a customer was dependent on electricity for health reasons, and were trying to develop a notification system with medical authorities. "The problem we are dealing with is how to get the balance between the Privacy Act and preserving life and what I am saying is that right now that balance is not right – clearly not." It is understood police yesterday interviewed the contractor from VirCom Energy Management Services who cut off the power for Mercury. VirCom chief executive Craig Shepherd put out a statement yesterday saying the company was shocked by the tragedy and was carrying out a "thorough inquiry". State-Owned Enterprises Minister Trevor Mallard yesterday released a letter written by Mercury on Wednesday that revealed the contractor saw Muliaga had a medical tube in her nose but it was not connected to any equipment. But Heffernan said no-one could expect an electrician to make a medical decision. He said the Muliaga family had been getting further into debt despite payments being made on the bill. Mighty River commercial manager James Moulder said the contractors were not paid by the number of disconnections they made, but by the number of visits. –Dominion Post Age Concern  (Jun 1, 2007 | post #1)

Seattle, WA

Seattle City Council Commits $8M To Viaduct Replacement Plan

O this is rich!! Eight mill - for a PLAN mind you. Not an answer, not the execution of a well thought out answer to the Viaduct situation...eight mill for a THOUGHT! So sadly typical. And to all you NON-native Seattlites, sittin & countin' all your chips in the hi-rise waterfront condo....uh, your palace is built on FILL!! The next six poin shaker that hits Alaska is gonna bring all you all DOWN!!! Hope you know how to swim.  (May 31, 2007 | post #1)

Seattle, WA

Is Seattle the home of the homeless?

It's beyond reproach that the Emerald City has so many homeless - including Mothers w/children - a statewide failure of a school system - AND a couple of the richest people on the damned planet postin' up in our back yard!!!  (May 31, 2007 | post #3)

Seattle, WA

Seattle's single moms find strength in one another

Kudos, Randi. David, GROW UP!! Take your racist attitude and clearly racist SELF somewhere else where your hatred of non-Black mothers of black children is appreciated. It's NOT even wanted around here!  (May 31, 2007 | post #43)

Seattle, WA

A swan song for the Piano Man

Now, THIS is a Seattle story!! MUCH more reflective of the Emerald City than most...kudos!  (May 29, 2007 | post #1)

Seattle, WA

FBI probes disputed drug arrest by Seattle officers

St. Louis, whachew doin' on Seattle's page? We made the Yahoo! headlines and the 6, 10 and leben o'clock news lately thanks in part to our newest 'resident' - the Feds n' ATF - postin' up near the DeuceEight...followed by arresting half the damn neighborhood....sheeeeezz! I feel ya C Peper but if we do, tack on a few hundred years to whatever for being in possession of a gun.... it's all a set up....ya know?  (May 29, 2007 | post #2)

Q & A with BequiaLover

Headline:

Talk 2 Me

Hometown:

Sea-town...SEATTLE

Neighborhood:

Thee 1st in the city - Ballard

Local Favorites:

Due to the city being overrun by outsiders...most favs are gone...

I Belong To:

One; Swedes for Obama; Irish Travellers;

When I'm Not on Topix:

I volunteer at a local food bank; help the fights against Global Warming, World Hunger, inequality and civil rights violators - be it Darfur or Bush;

Read My Forum Posts Because:

while maybe not popular....at least I'm honest.

I'm Listening To:

old Sergio Mendes/Brasil '66

Read This Book:

Women Who Run w/Wolves

Favorite Things:

Cooking; Jazz/reggae/world rhythms; living in the West Indies;

On My Mind:

I'm a triple Gemini...YOU do the math.

Blog / Website / Homepage:

GreenEyes @ MySpace

I Believe In:

God; the power of prayer; the gifts of serenity, respect, kindness, understanding; AND humor - every day;