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The 1996 kidnapping of a young girl by her father, from a Stamford, Conn., mall to Iran, has already reshaped Connecticut family law. The resulting criminal case overruled Marshak v. Marshak, which had prevented a parent with legal custody from being criminally liable for interfering with the other parent’s rights. Now in a Stamford civil case, the mother who lost her daughter in the abduction is suing the supervising lawyer, the law firm that selected her, and the missing child’s uncle in Mirjavadi v. Vazikladeh. Plaintiff’s counsel Brendan Leydon sought loss-of-quality-of-life damages for his clients, Leyla Mirjavadi and daughter Sabra Fabriz, now believed to be in Iran. Stamford Judge Trial Referee William B. Lewis read the complaint as seeking loss of parental and filial consortium — the daughter’s loss of her mother’s love and companionship, and the mother’s equivalent loss. He ruled Nov. 13 that neither is available in Connecticut. Leydon, of Stamford’s Tooher & Wocl, said he was not seeking derivative damages. Instead, he says he considered the kidnapping’s effects a direct injury to both child and parent. Lewis, in a footnote, cited six superior court cases upholding filial consortium and five rejecting it. He ruled against recognizing a parent’s damages from the loss of a child, citing the 1998 Connecticut Supreme Court case of Mendillo v. Board of Education, which found that a child could not collect for loss of parental consortium. “[I]t seems unlikely that a parent could have a loss of filial consortium while a child does not have a cause of action for loss of parental consortium,” Lewis wrote. The abduction followed a rancorous divorce. Leyla Mirjavadi and Orang Fabriz had no trust left, and supervised visitation was ordered. First it took place in a psychologist’s office. Later, attorney Maria Varone supervised, at the parents’ request. She was at the Stamford mall with the father, the uncle and the girl on Oct. 6, 1996. According to court records, the uncle distracted Varone while the father made off with the daughter, heading by limo to New York’s Kennedy Airport and boarding a plane to Turkey by 6 p.m. The mother is suing Bridgeport, Conn.’s Green & Gross for selecting Varone. Varone is represented by Bridgeport sole practitioner Louis A. Afonso. Green and her firm are represented by James Coyne, of Bridgeport’s Bai, Pollock & Coyne. Melvin Bloomenthal of Stamford represents Vakilzadeh.

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