There is an interesting tort case out of Minnesota where a mother mistakingly received a return letter stamped “DECEASED” after she wrote to her son serving in Iraq. Joan Najbar is a critic of the war and is suing the military for negligent infliction of emotional distress and other claims. Her son, Sam Eininger, was serving with the National Guard in Iraq in 2006 and was very much alive.
Najbar says that she was traumatized when the letter that she sent on Sept. 29, 2006 came back about two weeks later with “DECEASED” stamped in red on the front of the envelope. She was able to contact the Red Cross, which was able to tell her that her son was still alive.
Eininger, 24, spent 22 months in Iraq and is now an environmental sciences student at the University of Minnesota in Duluth.
What is interesting is that she never received an apology for the horrific error. Some have suggested that it might have been intentional because Najbar, 58, has been very public in her opposition to the war, including spreading red fabric on the Capitol steps in St. Paul in a silent protest.
It should make for an interesting case.
For the full story, click here.
9 thoughts on “Dead Letter: Mother Sues After Receiving Back Letter To Son in Iraq Stamped “DECEASED””
The local USPO says they do not know of a DECEASED stamp!
“What is interesting is that she never received an apology for the horrific error. Some have suggested that it might have been intentional because Najbar, 58, has been very public in her opposition to the war, including spreading red fabric on the Capitol steps in St. Paul in a silent protest.”
Come-on … horrific error? Her lawyer wouldn’t want me on the jury.
what a greedy, litigious woman
All I can say is soldiers have the ability to use the internet and sometimes a phone overseas…if the letter was postmarked deceased on Nov. 1st and she spoke w/him on Thanksgiving….chances are, he’s alive..duh…… just someone who needs to get a life and a job.
Interesting. How the hell is she going to demonstrate that the Army’s conduct was negligent? Can she use res ipsa as a legal theory?
Tyranny by misinformation.
Can’t you two ever stop carping? When are you going to obey authority and keep your mouths shut?
In the words of Henry FordII,
Never complain, never explain….
This is a case that is very similar to what my Mother went through during the Vietnam War. My brother was in Vietnam and during his stay at one base he lost his wallet. Someone found the wallet and the Army in their infinite wisdom, sent it to my Mother telling her to send it to my brother via his APO address! Of course, she thought he was dead when we got this package. The Army could not even locate his APO addressin their records. I put a little note in the box and told him that if he does receive the box to leave Vietnam because the Army would never know! My mother never received an apology either.
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