• Germany's news in English

Obituary mix-up gave man's mum heart attack

The Local · 31 May 2012, 14:01

Published: 31 May 2012 14:01 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The man, named only as Besim N., was flooded with phone calls and found bunches of flowers on his doorstep in December 2011 after a Munich newspaper mistakenly put his photo on a story about the death of a champion Thai-boxer.

The 35-year-old German-Kosovan boxing star Besim Kabashi had been found dead in his flat in the city.

News soon spread to Kosovo where Kabashi was from – and where Besim N.'s mother lived, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Thursday. She literally had a heart attack when she saw a regional television report which also used the image of her son.

Besim N., who then had to fly from Germany to Kosovo to convince his mother he was alive – and had also been sent home from his job at a restaurant because his phone was continuously ringing with concerned friends and family.

The following January, apparently without warning, Besim N. lost his job. He told a state court how he could think of no other reason this would be for, other than being dismissed for the day when the news of his “death” broke.

He sued the newspaper, claiming €7,000 for the upset, the costs of flying to Kosovo to see his mother and the loss of his job.

But the Munich district court said it was not proven that the slip-up caused him to lose his job and the judge ruled it was not defamatory to mistakenly say a person was dead. The paper's lawyers argued that because editors had printed a correction as soon as they could, it was no more than an embarrassing mistake.

The judge did suggest the paper cover the costs of Besim N.'s flight to Kosovo, which they did, sending him away with €300.

Story continues below…

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd