Lawsuit Filed Against UM Student, Father For Fatal Accident

CORAL GABLES (CBS4) – Attorneys for a 68-year-old grandmother who was struck and killed in a traffic accident last Sunday have filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against a 19-year-old University of Miami student and her father, saying he is liable for her conduct.

The lawsuit filed by the firm of Silva and Silva says that Ivanna Victoria Villanueva had been speeding and had been drinking and was negligent and showed “extreme recklessness and a wanton disregard for life.” Her father Luis Villanueva is also named in the lawsuit.

Attorneys say Villanueva had been drinking at different, well-known Miami Beach night clubs and was speeding when her brand-new Audi SUV slammed into the rear-end of Ayala’s vehicle.

“I would like to say that she killed the most precious person,” said Brenda Vazquez, the only daughter of Eyder Ayala, a mother of five and a grandmother of seven children. Ayala was returning home from her job as an Assistant Manager at a Miami McDonald’s restaurant when her car was struck from behind at around 4 a.m.

Ayala had worked at the McDonald’s restaurant for the past 20 years and was an Assistant Manager there.

The accident happened near the intersection of Lejeune Road and Majorca Avenue. The impact was so severe that Ayala’s trunk was pushed into the front seat. She was killed instantly.

“I think she was the most valuable person in our family,” said Vazquez, who spoke to a room crowded with news crews as attorney Carlos Silva announced the lawsuit.

“We don’t have her anymore. We are not going to see her anymore,” said Vazquez. “We are not going to feel her kisses, her faces, her hugs, her food. I feel nobody should be drinking and driving, especially underage people. I hope she gets the punishment she deserves.”

In court Monday at a hearing before Villanueva was released on $50,000 bond, a prosecutor said that Villanueva had used fake identification papers to get into the Fountainebleau Hotel’s Club Liv.

Attorneys say the lawsuit could eventually involve the nightclubs and/or hotel that had illegally served alcohol to Villanueva.

“We want to find out where she was drinking and who allowed a 19-year-old in to their club and why this happened,” said attorney Carlos Silva. “The message to parents is that they need to have more information as to where their children are and make sure they are not drinking and driving.”

“Through this civil lawsuit, we are seeking justice,” said Silva. “We hope to help the criminal prosecution in this case. Our concern is to find out where she was drinking.”

Silva said that his law firm would continue to investigate “all of the details of the accident” and would work closely with the Coral Gables Police Department.

“My Mom was the most loving, exceptional, wonderful person,” said Vazquez. “There’s just an emptiness. I am not filled with anything. This is a nightmare that I’d like to wake up from. It’s very unfortunate for the whole family. We are very distraught. We never thought this could happen.”

CBS4’s Peter D’Oench stopped twice at Villanueva’s home in Coco Plum. No one answered the door when he knocked. On his second visit, D’Oench tried to speak with two men who were getting into a car and leaving the home. One of them told D’Oench that he had no comment.

A family spokesman, Ivan Morales, told D’Oench that Villanueva’s family was “retaining counsel” and stood by its statement from Monday.

In that statement, Morales said “The Villanueva family is exceedingly saddened by the events of this past Sunday. And Ivanna Villanueva is grief stricken over this tragic accident. Everyone in the family wishes to convey their deepest sympathies to the Ayala family at this very, very sad time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

Morales said no family members wanted to say anything on camera right now.

Villanueva is charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving. Prosecutors say a DUI charge could be added once the sobriety tests come back from the October 2nd accident.

Villanueva is under house arrest and was fitted with electronic monitoring bracelet. She is under house arrest and only able to leave her home for classes at the University of Miami.

More from Peter D'Oench
Comments

One Comment

  1. andy says:

    it’s sad, BUT HER FATHER SHOULD NOT BE IN THE LAWSUIT. Sue the clubs that gave her alcohol. But how can a father, who may be 10 or 3000 miles away, supervise his daughter at all times? She is an adult she should be responsible for her own decisions. Her father didn’t give her alcohol it was the clubs. South beach clubs are known to let underage girls in … but guys can’t get in or they have to pay a lot. It’s messed up.

    1. andy says:

      *guys can’t get it if they are less than 21 unless they pay a lot. Say for a 125$ bottle of booze*

    2. edd says:

      it is a reckless lawsuit, and i believe it will be dismissed. why wouldn’t they even sue the insurance company? a brand new Audi SUV should be insured, or they know the dad has a lot of money.

    3. Angie says:

      Bottom line is the reckless driver is an idiot for putting her life, other people’s lives and not to mention her nice car in jeopardy. Like a good majority of society, this individual lacks common sense.

  2. Edward says:

    I totally agree that a civil wrong death action should eventually
    proceed, but initiating civil litigation before grandmother is even buried
    seems quite strange to me !

  3. Kathryn Harlan says:

    It is a tragic situtation.. what is worse is this dumb kid is about to learn is how terrible her actions cost her family… she may go to jail if a jury decides so, but the finaincial claims of the victims family will be the focal point of the victims family… not justice.. just money! Sad loss but sad efforts to collect for the the loss.

  4. Kathryn Harlan says:

    The driver lives in Coco Plum,,,Welcome to America,,, The victims family just hit the jack pot for a stupid kid with too much money and no sense!

    1. emily says:

      jackpot? justice is not about money. money wont bring her back money wont make them feel better. instead of focusing on the mourning of their mother they are focusing on getting as much money as they can possible. its stupid

      1. Antoninus Pius says:

        this is a rather moronic comment. money will buy them be best lawyers, which will ultimately dictate whether or not the girl will go to jail and whether or not the girl’s family will have to pay a wrongful death claim.

  5. emily says:

    Let me tell you I am 20 I drink underage and I can tell you that It is EXTREMELY easy to drink underage in miami. It is not her fault for drinking underage IT IS her fault for drinking and driving though. if they want to sue the clubs they should sue all teh clubs and bars all over miami as it happens everywhere. this is a stupid set of lawsuits they are doing in order to milk as much money as they can from the vilanuevas. i hope they know that the money will not bring her back.

  6. victoria says:

    The family is prob going to try to turn it against the family or take the girl out of the country or anything to stop her from going to jail so of course the family is going to take action fast. the killer needs to pay for what she did.

  7. Mario says:

    Problem is you do not have a REAL police dept in Miami-dade and they look the other way as 80% of drivers do not use turn signals and drive recklessly . These are signs that a real police dept uses to catch drunk drivers.

    The lawyer needs to sue the city and the politicians who look the other way as countless clubs pump out drunk drivers.

  8. Mario says:

    emily

    Let me tell you I am 20 I drink underage and I can tell you that It is EXTREMELY easy to drink underage in miami. It is not her fault for drinking underage IT IS her fault for drinking and driving though. if they want to sue the clubs they should sue all teh clubs and bars all over miami as it happens everywhere. this is a stupid set of lawsuits they are doing in order to milk as much money as they can from the vilanuevas. i hope they know that the money will not bring her back.

    —————————–
    This place is an ill run banana republic thanks to Cuban politicians, city officials who could not care less that their local clubs pump out drunk drivers .
    Law suits are the only thing left. Drunk drivers are an epidemic here esp since signs used to pull over drunk drivers in other places are ignored by police in Miami-dade.

  9. Sonny Diblasi says:

    This is so typical in Miami! Instead of grieving their Moms death they are looking to make the money they see as free money! These days it’s all just about money! The Villanuevas are a well to do family so let’s sue the dad?!?

    Wake up people the reality is most clubgoers are underage this has gone on forever! I did more clubbing before the age of 21 than I have done after!

    This lawsuit is the same as The Sittons suing the Merhiges because their adult son killed multiple people including their own twin daughters.Being an affluent family instantly makes you a target.
    How do these suers sleep at night…Do they have a conscience?

    1. Alan says:

      I can’t believe your ignorance. Somehow the person who committed the crime is now the victim here. Oh please, think about what you’re saying.

      1. Sonny Diblasi says:

        Ignorance? Really how? Maybe you should read my post again before commenting!
        The person that commited the crime is the girl! Not her dad! Where did I write she is a victim? She is guilty! Keyword “SHE” not her dad that was probably at home sleeping!
        Just like in the Mehrige case. The one that commited the crime was Paul merhige (a adult) but the parents have money just like the Villanueva father. Reason why they are the ones being sued!
        Sue the criminal not the family that did nothing wrong!
        Wake up!

  10. JJ says:

    This first generation family from Nicaragua isn’t controlling this law suit. Every lawyer in town was probably knocking down their door telling them they had to file asap and sue the father and the hotels and everything.

    Horrible for everyone. A couple bad choices can cost everyone everything.

  11. victoria says:

    Ya JJ is right, I know them and they were not planning to sue at all they just wanted her to get jail time or punished for her actions, they never even contracted a lawyer, the lawyers contacted them and pushed the issue. Bc maybe you dont know this but to lose someone cost not only emotionally but financially as well, medical bills, insurance, funeral arrangements, the family members all took days off work, who pays for all that? you gotta think about the details. they are not at all greedy so dont talk when you dont know.

  12. victoria says:

    I know them and they were not planning to sue at all they just wanted her to get jail time or punished for her actions, they never even contracted a lawyer, the lawyers contacted them and pushed the issue. Bc maybe you dont know this but to lose someone cost not only emotionally but financially as well, medical bills, insurance, funeral arrangements, the family members all took days off work, who pays for all that? you gotta think about the details. they are not at all greedy so dont talk when you dont know.

  13. Gema Londono says:

    let me tell you something..the two families are in a very tough situaccion,the two are not for you or me to be judge.accidents happends unfortunally thats realaty. now who do you think you are to try to play GOD in that internet? HELLO theres only one GOD , AND HES ABOVE EVERY ONE HERE. the two famies are going true emationall stress THE TWO.not just one .now talking about jail time .WOW.she didnt do it because she want this for happening it happends and im sure that shes allready in her own jail.for the rest of her life.please lets have some RESPECT for this two familes,lets PRAY for them let GOD do hes job,hes the only one that reconize the botton of our HART. and the only one who can JUDGE US. NO MATTER WHAT. IF ANY ONE HERE BELIVE IN GOD ,WILL KNOW WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT. BLESS DAY EVERY ONE

  14. rpeti says:

    I hope they don’t get a penny. The girl needs to pay for this but the fact that they are suing for $$$$ makes me sick. They have just made this about the $$$ and not about their “precious” mother.

  15. Gema Londono says:

    i really fell very bad for the two familys ,i understand that they do need money to have there mother rest in peace,for the funeral home and all of that but,Mr.Villanueva have nothing to do here.PLUS ivanna it is an adult .so let them GO,afther her. why her mother and father HAY please .i agrre.i really think that they thoug that, they want money no matter from where or from who? SAD VERY SAD, THOSE PEOPLE ARE JUS MAT? GOD IT IS IN CONTROL ,NO ONE BUT GOD. i WILL KEEP THEM ON MY PRAYERS BECAUSE IT IS JUST SAD ANY WHERE YOU LOOK.

  16. Robert says:

    The reason why the father is the named Defendant under the lawsuit is probably because the father owns the vehicle she was driving, and is the one who holds the insurance policy. Notwithstanding this, an 18 year old has no business driving around at 4am, moreover, no one has any business driving around and especially while their intoxication level is three times the legal limit. I agree that the clubs should also be held responsible if they continued to serve her alcohol while observing that she was legally drunk.

  17. John says:

    What should happen is the girls gets 10 to 15 years, & the grieving family should sue the Fountainebleau Hotel’s Club.

  18. Gema Londono says:

    i really think that the lawsuit,it is out of question.right now,the main thing here is to pray for the two familys. it is going crazy for the two.it is very sad but thats what i think every one can do to help. money it is not going to help no one right now.only GOD can help this two familys. dont you think?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Miami

Fired Up For The #FinsOn4
Zika: Complete Coverage

Listen Live