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TAMARAC (CBSMiami) – The families of two young women killed in a head-on collision on the Sawgrass Expressway last year said the employer of the woman accused of causing the crash should be held accountable.
The families are now suing Kayla Mendoza’s former employer.
The families of Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio allege that when Kayla Mendoza left her place of employment — a T Mobile store in Tamarac — last November 16th, she went out for a work-related function with co-workers.
Investigators said the group ended up at Tijuana Taxi Company in Coral Springs where Mendoza, who was underage, drank two large margaritas with several shots of tequila each and got drunk.
The lawsuit filed by the families claims that Mendoza’s supervisor, Marcelo Bruzzo, was with her and knew she was not old enough to drink.
In a deposition, Bruzzo told investigators, “…Kayla did state that she was underage and while others were ordering drinks she asked Mr. Bruzzo “do you think I will get served. Mr. Bruzzo stated that he told her if you get kicked out for whatever reason it is not my responsibility.”
The lawsuit claims Mendoza and her supervisor were wearing their company attire and discussing company business with the other attendees.
Kaitlyn’s mother Christine Ferrante has a problem with that.
“They knew that she was underage. This shouldn’t have been held at a bar. They shouldn’t have been drinking. They shouldn’t have allowed her to drink,” said Ferrante.
CBS4’s Carey Codd reached out to the management of the independent T-Mobile store for a comment on the lawsuit but no one got back to them. None of the employees inside would speak about the allegations.
Investigators said before Mendoza got behind the wheel of her car and caused the deadly wrong way crash, taking the lives of Ferrante and Catronio, Mendoza’s supervisor took her to her car and allowed her to drive off.
The families of the victims said this was one more failed opportunity for someone to prevent their unimaginable loss.
“They didn’t care. That’s what you call friends? No. That’s accountability,” said Marisa’s father Gary Catronio.”The supervisors that invited her to join her that evening also could have invited her to join them in a ride home, let us take you home. Let’s park your car. We can pick it up tomorrow.”
The lawsuit alleges that Mendoza felt compelled to attend the get together with her co-workers that night because she feared that if she didn’t, her ability to advance in the company would be hindered.
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