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Mother of Center Moriches boy who died in freezing garage files $200M wrongful death suit

The mother of a Center Moriches boy with special needs who froze to death in an unheated garage has filed a $200 million wrongful death lawsuit.

News 12 Staff

Jun 16, 2020, 8:05 PM

Updated 1,490 days ago

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The mother of a Center Moriches boy with special needs who froze to death in an unheated garage has filed a $200 million wrongful death lawsuit.
The suit was filed against Suffolk Child Protective Services officials, as well as the East Moriches Union Free School District, a Nassau County Supreme Court justice and several others.
The suit claims Thomas Valva's mother, Justyna Zubko-Valva, pleaded with the defendants to have her son and his two brothers removed from their father's custody, but nothing was done despite evidence of physical and mental abuse.
MORE: Prosecutors outline ‘house of horrors’ abuse that led to Thomas Valva’s death
MORE: Center Moriches boy who died in cold garage remembered at funeral Mass


The law firm that filed the suit says, "Sadly, Tommy's death was not only foreseeable, but completely preventable."
The 8-year-old froze to death in January after his father, ex-NYPD officer Michael Valva, and his fiancee, Angela Pollina, allegedly forced Thomas to sleep in their garage.
The lawsuit condemns a 2017 hearing where a Nassau judge gave custody of Zubko-Valva's three children to Michael Valva.
"Ms. Zubko-Valva had provided evidence to the court, CPS, the police and the children's attorneys several times that showed the severe physical, mental and sexual abuse of her children by Valva and Pollina," Norinsberg Law said in a statement.
Prosecutors have said the children were forced to stay in their rooms without access to the bathroom. If they soiled themselves, they were allegedly made to sleep in the cold garage as punishment – without a mattress, sheets, pillows or blankets.
Michael Valva and Pollina are both facing murder charges.


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