Legal Aid Lawyer Can Be Sued Over Parental Abduction
On October 6, 1996, during a scheduled 2 to 5 p.m. visitation, Fabriz managed to take his daughter from the mall while his uncle, Anthony Vakilzadeh, distracted Varone.
After leaving the mall, Fabriz and Saba, then 2 years old, took a limo to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, paying for the ride with his ex-wife's credit card. Father and daughter caught a 6 p.m. flight to Istanbul. Mirjavadi has never heard from Fabriz or Saba again.
Police arrested the uncle, Vakilzadeh, a civil engineer who resides in New Jersey, in December 1996 and charged him with second-degree kidnapping and first-degree custodial interference. Vakilzadeh eventually pled guilty to first-degree custodial interference and a related charge. He was sentenced to two years in prison and actually served nine months.
In the late 1990s, Mirjavadi filed a lawsuit against Varone alleging that the abduction was caused by Varone's negligence and carelessness because she had failed to supervise the visitation properly. Specifically, the lawsuit said that Varone should not have left father and daughter out of her site, and that she should have made sure that Fabriz did not have his passport. The plaintiff further claims Varone waited more than two hours after the abduction to report it. If the lawyer had done so sooner, the escape could have been foiled at JFK, Mirjavadi claims.
Leydon said Varone has never really given much of an explanation of what happened. "She claimed the uncle strung her along saying, 'They're around here somewhere,'" said Leydon. "That explained [a reporting delay of] 15 minutes...[After that,] there's a mess of a time gap. We never got an explanation that made any sense."
Varone's lawyer, Lloyd D. Pedersen, of Pedersen & Stewart in Hartford, did not return repeated calls last week. Pedersen had told the Supreme Court that the trial court was correct in deciding that there was reason to think that an abduction was unforeseeable. For one thing, he said, Fabriz had landed a job in Connecticut a short time beforehand.
Leydon expects the trial to take place sometime early next year. Since the kidnapping, his client has required counseling and takes daily medications after suffering a breakdown that resulted in her involuntary commitment, according to court documents.