67ºF

Parents of wrong-way crash victims sue driver's ex-employer

Lawsuit claims '2 drunk 2 care' driver Kayla Mendoza served alcohol at work party

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – The parents of two women killed in a wrong-way crash on the Sawgrass Expressway are suing the surviving driver's former employer.

Christine Ferrante, whose daughter was killed in the November 2013 crash, told Local 10 News the lawsuit was filed Wednesday.

Kayla Mendoza has pleaded not guilty to the crash that killed Marisa Catronio and Kaitlyn Nicole Ferrante, both 21.

The lawsuit claims a T-Mobile store in Tamarac hosted a work-related party at Tijuana Taxi Co., where Mendoza was served alcoholic beverages before the crash.

"The mobile store operator employees themselves have testified that they were there, that she was there, with them wearing their uniforms," attorney Jamie Finizio told Local 10 News on Friday.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a toxicology report shows Mendoza had a blood-alcohol level of .15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of .08 percent, and traces of marijuana in her system when her car slammed into another car.

Mendoza, 21, wrote "2 drunk 2 care" on Twitter just hours before the crash.

Court documents filed in a civil lawsuit against Mendoza show she spent about $65 on alcohol before the crash, even though she was underage at the time.

"They knew she was underage, Kayla Mendoza, and they allowed her to drink to the point of oblivion," Finizio said.

Mendoza is also being sued.

"We want Kayla to be able to take accountability for what she did and for every party that's liable for what happened, they need to be held accountable," Kaitlyn Ferrante's sister, Ashley Ferrante, said.

Catronio's father, Gary Catronio, said there is no monetary value for what happened.

"But we can hold everybody that's accountable for it," he said.

Finizio said the monetary value will be decided during the lawsuit.

Family members are also suing the restaurant and Mendoza's ex-boyfriend, who lent her the car.

The two families of the victims will hold a road safety gathering in a safe area at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Commercial Boulevard and the Sawgrass Expressway so the public can see the new wrong-way signs that have been recently been placed there.

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10