Paralyzed teen suing family over fundraising money

Pre-trial conference set for August 16

Alex Scafuri speaking
Alex Scafuri speaks to the court during sentencing for the woman who struck him with her car, Jomaris Colon.

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Alex Scafuri, of Agawam, is suing his father and three others in Hampden Superior Court, claiming they misused money from fundraising efforts that were meant for him.

In March 2015, Scafuri, then 16, was hit by drunk driver Jomaris Colon, paralyzing him from the chest down.  Scafuri was skateboarding home from volleyball tryouts around 9 p.m. the night he was hit by Colon’s car in the area of Rowley and Springfield streets in Agawam.

Court documents obtained by 22News state that his treatment cost an estimated $960,000.

Scafuri, now 18 years-old, is suing his father, Christopher Scafuri, as well as Jennifer Scafuri, Dawn Violette, and Maria Gensheimer for breach of fiduciary duty, and is seeking a jury trial and $150,000.

After Alex’s accident, a “Go Fund Me” account was created and a fundraiser was held.  Alex claims he was told that the total raised was $50,000 via “Go Fund Me” and $60,000 – $120,000 through the fundraiser.

His father, Christopher, countered in a written statement to the court that they made a total of $110,000 from fundraising.   The family then allegedly spent $40,000 on their house to make it handicapped accessible, another $26,000 to buy and upgrade a handicapped accessible van (which Alex is in possession of), and $5,000 in expenses between March and July 2015 when Alex was recovering in Georgia.

Christopher also claims that he at no point had any control of the trust in Alex’s name, and that it was maintained by Violette.

Alex claims that the Department of Children and Families removed him from his home in August 2016 due to neglect.  His father, however, says that Alex choose to move out when he was told that his girlfriend and other friends were no longer welcome.  His father also says that he initiated contact with DCF out of concern for his son and did not pursue the case because he was almost 18.

We asked DCF about this case and DCF officials told 22News due to state and federal confidentiality laws, the Department cannot confirm whether or not a family has a history with the Department.

Christopher Scafuri also recently had a deal to sell his home in Agawam for $225,000.

The next step in the civil lawsuit is a pre-trial conference on August 16th.