Grieving New Jersey couple sues for right to see grandkids

Asia's Tech News Daily

 									grandparents								,  									lawsuits

Melissa Garville died suddenly of an apparent pulmonary embolism on Thanksgiving Day, 2020 at age 39.

They tragically lost their daughter — and now a grieving New Jersey couple are fighting for the right to visit their granddaughters.

Melissa Garville died suddenly of an apparent pulmonary embolism on Thanksgiving Day, 2020 at age 39.

Garville, head of corporate communications at investment firm BlackRock, left behind her husband of five years, David Mazza, 39, and their two young daughters, Olivia, 5 and Samantha, 4.

A loving online obituary described the couple’s “life of adventure together, which took them from ski mountains to national parks to the beaches of Nantucket. Melissa and Dave were the perfect complements. Their eyes shone when they looked at each other.”

A trove of images posted with the tribute reveals shots of a beaming Melissa Garville, celebrating weddings, meals out, Christmas with her children, and other family festivities with her parents, Gregory and Christine Garville.

The doting grandparents even rented a neighboring Battery Park apartment so they could babysit, according to their Manhattan Supreme Court filing.

But after Melissa’s untimely death, Mazza allegedly “began making it increasingly challenging for [the Garvilles] to have visitation with the children,” they charge in legal papers.

In September, Mazza told the Garvilles he had found new love, and was taking the kids to California.

“Not a day goes by without me thinking about Melissa,” he wrote in the message included in the court file. “In this time of pain, I had something beautiful come to me at the same time.”

He’d “reconnected” with a coworker whose daughter is close in age to his own kids, and “she and I made the decision to be together and start a blended family in Los Angeles where they currently live. This is best for us, so we can all be happy and healthy.

“While we may be moving, I do not intend to stop FaceTime and there will be special visits,” he pledged.

But the Garvilles say Mazza “has not responded meaningfully” to their requests for continued visits, and want a judge to intervene.

“After the terrible and sudden loss of their mother, we are concerned that the children would likely experience a second traumatic sense of abandonment if they are not allowed to maintain a regular relationship with us,” they said in court papers.

It’s unclear when the couple last saw their grandchildren in person.

The grandparents want a judge to appoint a lawyer for Olivia and Samantha, and grant them at least three weekend visits per year along with extended visits during summer.

Mazza said he “had no knowledge of the existence of a lawsuit,” calling the situation “deeply personal” and declining further comment.

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