Mom sues after letter to son in Iraq returned with erroneous “deceased” stamp

A Minnesota mother of a young man who served in Iraq filed suit against the federal government due to a 2006 incident in which a letter sent to her son serving in Iraq was returned to her, wrongly stamped with the word “deceased.”

Luckily for Joan Najbar, the matter was cleared up almost immediately. From the

“I was out on patrol, and I got a message to call my mom,” Eininger recalled Tuesday. “I called her immediately after I got back, and she told me what happened. She didn’t sound pleased. I couldn’t blame her.”

Najbar contacted the Red Cross, which “was ultimately able to inform her that her son had not been killed,” the suit said.

“This happened while he was … being shot at in Baghdad. That’s not OK … not to even say oops or sorry,” Najbar, a clinical social worker, said Tuesday.

Somewhere along the line, “oops” or “sorry” turned into a significant amount of damages for “emotional distress, loss of income, attorneys fees and other expenses.” Prior to her current lawsuit, Joan Najbar attempted to sue the United States Postal Service for $118,000- but her claim was denied twice.

Najbar’s son, in sad contrast to many other mothers’ sons, is currently an environmental studies student at the University of Minnesota.