A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has barred the National Grid utility and the state Division of Public Utilities from shutting off gas and electric service to about 4,000 Rhode Islanders who have medical conditions.
The ruling, from Judge Netti C. Vogel, bans utility shutoffs from those with medical conditions, such as the seriously ill and disabled, until at least September 26. The action comes after a lawsuit filed by the Rhode Island Center for Justice, which challenged state procedures for cutting off service to those with medical conditions.
Rob McCreanor, executive director of the Center for Justice, said the order includes such utility customers as those who rely on oxygen or have medical conditions and whose health and safety rely on gas and electric services, even if the customer is behind on a utility bill.
Vogel also set a hearing on the matter for September 26.