The first knock on the Plymouth woman’s door brought an alarming delivery: A 7-pound FedEx package, erroneously addressed to Maryangela Tobin’s 11-year-old daughter, containing vacuum-packed bags of marijuana.
But a second visit shortly afterward was downright frightening: an alleged drug smuggler, looking for his missing package.
Tobin, 43, has sued FedEx over the delivery and for giving out her address. Tobin, a single parent, filed a lawsuit in Plymouth Superior Court last month saying that the shipping company committed negligence and reckless infliction of emotional distress. She is seeking damages, though the amount is not yet determined.
According to the suit, the shipping company shared details about the whereabouts of the package, allowing the alleged smugglers to come knocking at Tobin’s door even after Plymouth police told the company the woman and her two daughters were at risk.
Although three people have been arrested on drug charges, Tobin said she still fears for her safety, and her children are racked with anxiety over a possible retaliation.
“The Tobins’ lives have been turned upside-down,” the lawsuit said. “They live in a constant state of distress.”
Scott Fiedler, FedEx spokesman, declined to comment Friday. Tobin’s lawyer, Christopher A.D. Hunt, said the woman did not want to talk publicly about her experience.
The lawsuit, filed Feb. 7 and first reported by Courthouse News Service , provides details of the bizarre delivery.
Last October, FedEx delivered a package to Tobin addressed to “L. Tobin,” the first initial and last name of her 11-year-old daughter, whose birthday had just passed. Inside the package, the family found an assortment of candles, candy, ribbons, markers, and several large vacuum-packed bags that they discovered contained marijuana.
The 11-year-old started to cry, saying that she feared that by breathing the aroma she had “drugs in her,” the lawsuit said.
In addition to the printed label, there was a handwritten label that listed a different address for an L. Tobin in Plymouth.
Tobin called Plymouth police, who contacted FedEx and instructed the delivery company not to let anyone know the whereabouts of the package. But just more than an hour later, a man arrived at Tobin’s door, asking through her screen door if she had received a package.
Tobin locked her door and told the man she did not have a package. He left with two other men waiting in a black sports car in front of her house.
Later, a FedEx representative told police the company had shared Tobin’s address with someone who called to inquire, the lawsuit says.
For days afterward, police conducted surveillance on the Tobin home, and the family slept at a friend’s home. More recently, the Tobins have been sick with worry, the lawsuit states. They are considering moving to a new town, according to the suit.
“The intense and ongoing distress the Tobins experience in their own home has left them feeling anxious, physically ill, and fearful for their safety,” the suit said. “They are afraid living in their own home.”Martine Powers can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @martinepowers.