Joan Najbar says she dropped a letter in the mail for her soldier son stationed in Iraq on Sept. 29, 2006. A few weeks later, on Oct. 16, she says the letter was returned by the Post Office, with the word "deceased" stamped in red ink on the envelope. The problem: Her son was alive. Now Najbar, a peace activist, is suing the federal government and the Post Office for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The Duluth News Tribune reports that Najbar, traumatized, was able to verify her son's condition by contacting the Red Cross. Her son, Sam Eininger, was stationed with the Army in Iraq from 2006 to 2007.
The lawsuit, filed in November, is the latest effort by Najbar to claim damages from the government. The Post Office denied her first claim filed in In July 2008, and a subsequent claim filed in May this year.
Post Office and Army spokesmen tell the News Tribune that neither government entity would handle a death by marking "Deceased" on the envelope and returning it.
Spokesmen with the Army and the postal service tell the News Tribune that they would never mark a letter "deceased'' and return it to the sender.