Huge Blunder By Water Company Ends Up Costing 88-Year-Old Woman Her Life On Christmas Eve

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.29 - 2023 8:38 PM CET

Photo: Private
Photo: Private
The 88-year-old woman lost her life on Christmas Eve.

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Caterina Giovinazzo, an 88-year-old woman from Milan, tragically passed away on Christmas Eve.

Living on her pension, Caterina was overwhelmed when she received a utility bill for water supply amounting to €15,339 ($17.000), leading to a severe health scare that resulted in her hospitalization.

Unfortunately, she never recovered from the shock of facing such an enormous sum and the subsequent draining of her bank account. This is reported by several Italian medias such as Il Messaggero.

Depleted All Of Her Savings

The utility company Iren later admitted to an error in the photo-reading of the meter, which confirmed the actual amount of the bill to be only €55 ($60), as recounted by Caterina's brother, Rocco Giovinazzo.

Despite this, the damage was done. The initial charge of €15,339, with a first installment of €7,669($8.500), had already depleted all of Caterina's savings.

Following the incident, Rocco Giovinazzo, along with his nephew Luigi, reported the discrepancy to Iren's office in Camporosso.

The company responded, stating they would contact the family to investigate the matter and assured that if the error was on their part, Caterina would not have to pay anything. However, by the time the error was rectified, and Iren offered apologies and a refund, Caterina had already been hospitalized and was in a critical condition.

A Call for Change

This tragic incident has raised significant concerns about the handling of utility services and the impact of such errors on vulnerable individuals. Consumer rights groups in Italy like Assoutenti have highlighted the need for more diligent checks in meter readings and caution against relying solely on automated systems for billing anomalies.

Caterina's family seeks to ensure that such a devastating incident does not happen to another family.

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