A man in Ontario died suddenly, right after turning on the bathroom faucet. The water ran for three weeks, resulting in a $500 bill. His daughter is asking that the utility forgive the bill but the City Council is unsure whether it will do so.
On the one hand, someone died and the city council should be compassionate; one would think that the city utility would have some kind of fund or insurance to pay for things like this. More philosophically, it seems odd to suggest that a dead person can even be said to incur charges. He or she is no longer an “agent” in the economic sense. (Living relatives are charged for funerals, not the deceased.)
On the other hand, it’s the man’s house, it’s his water meter, and it is unclear whether taxpayers should be on the hook because of his untimely death. Someone has to pay for it. Why shouldn’t it be his estate or his family? He’s the one who turned on the faucet. Who else could be said to be liable?