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.
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