Electric utility rapped for hiking rates on sick kid

Talk about hard-hearted utility companies!

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad jacked up the electrical rates on a 9 year old who uses a device 24 hours a day to get oxygen.

The Sala IV constitutional court heard that the utility giant eliminated what was called a preferential rate. The child comes from a low-income family, and the device, known as a concentrator, appears to eat electricity as it produces oxygen.

The court decision said that the family complained that the utility eliminated the preferential rate without notice and that the effects were seen in the August billing. When the family called the situation to the attention of the utility representatives in Esparza, the employees demanded again the paperwork that said the child needed oxygen, said the court.

The Hospital Nacional de Niños had provided the information, but the utility employees also wanted information on the family finances, according to the decision.

The decision Tuesday said that the actions and demands of the company affected the fundamental rights of the youngster.

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