Dr. Dawg

Pay your debts or we'll kill you

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Don't mess with your utility company.

The late
Folole Muliaga, living in a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, owed $122 on her electricity bill. An invalid, Muliaga needed an electrical oxygen pump to stay alive. When a company employee came by to cut off her power, this was explained to him, but he cut it off anyway. Two agonizing hours later, she was dead.

For the breed of cat that finds, for example, the death of social assistance recipient Kimberly Rogers a bit of a chuckle, this will be good for another. Should have paid her bills...individual responsibility...dependency...blah, blah. But luckily, some good may come out of this killing.

The New Zealand Parliament may now be ready to consider a Corporate Manslaughter bill such as the one recently passed in the UK--all that is now required for the latter is royal assent. Those of us who remember the slaughter of twenty-six Westray miners in 1992, and those responsible getting away Scot-free, might give some thought to lobbying for a similar law in Canada, but one with teeth. (The so-called "Westray Bill," passed a full twelve years after the explosion, has proven inadequate to the task. Only one charge has been laid under it--and that one was withdrawn.) In the meantime, due to corporate neglect or malfeasance, more deaths are inevitable.

In the meantime, I look forward to the investigation that will no doubt take place in New Zealand, but long experience tells me not to be overly optimistic.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on May 30, 2007 1:10 PM.

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