Cambria smoke shop sued over fatal crash

March 9, 2015

spiceThe mother of a toddler killed in a recent car crash is suing a Cambria smoke shop over the synthetic drug spice that it allegedly sold to the driver of the vehicle. [Tribune]

On Oct. 25, Tanner Noah Mengore crashed his SUV on Highway 1 in Cayucos, killing a 22-month-old and a 17-year-old and sending two adults to the hospital with major injuries. Mengore was allegedly addicted to spice, and CHP investigators said he used the drug prior to the collision.

On Friday, attorney Don Ernst filed a lawsuit on behalf Stacey Brito, the mother of Mason Simmonds Brito. Mason Brito, the toddler killed in the crash, was Mengore’s nephew.

The lawsuit names Paradise Smoke Shop, Mengore and two others. It states that the smoke shop owners sold spice and were fully aware of the dangers associated with the drug.

However, the smoke shop manager told the Tribune in October that her store does not sell spice. She also said that Mengore had never come to the business.

Mengore has pleaded not guilty to three charges in criminal court. He faces charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of a drug causing injury and child abuse.

The lawsuit seeks punitive damages.



  1. Rambunctious says:

    Number 1…no responsible store owner should sell that crap.
    Number 2…the fault lies with the driver, not the car nor the store nor the drug nor the drugged out mother.

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      The fault can (and probably does) lie with more than one of the above. Fault does not have to lie with only one person.

      (-8) 12 Total Votes - 2 up - 10 down
      • unlisted says:

        Yes, there is definitely plenty of fault to go around in the child’s death.

        The store and its owner and staff are at fault because they forced Mengore to take the drug and to drive while stoned.

        The car manufacturer is definitely at fault because it also forced Mengore to drive while stoned.

        The manufacturer is also at fault because the car is not equipped with either a stoned driver ignition interrupt or an autopilot mode to protect passengers and the public from stoned drivers.

        The County is also at fault because the Sheriff didn’t stop and arrest Mengore for driving stoned before the accident occurred.

        And, the mother is at fault for letting the child ride with a stoned driver.

        (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  2. shelworth says:

    Why not sue the real perpetrators of this tragedy? That’s right, the makers of the SUV they
    were driving, imagine building a vehicle that drives off the road like that, completely unsafe!

    (7) 17 Total Votes - 12 up - 5 down
  3. Rich in MB says:

    Maybe they should sue Spencer’s Fresh Market for selling asparagus in Morro Bay for $1.99/lb.
    Why Not…makes as much sense as this case.

    (23) 29 Total Votes - 26 up - 3 down
  4. Kalalau says:

    What about the fact that she left her child in the care of known drug users?
    What about the fact that the child was not secured legally in any way in the car?
    Seems like child endangerment and abuse to me.
    Why wasn’t she arrested for her part in this catastrophe?
    And yes….on face book she and her “friends” speak casually about their drug use.
    NOW she wants money too? (of course she does)

    (32) 34 Total Votes - 33 up - 1 down
    • racket says:

      Sorrowful situation. But I agree — it’s a diversion to point the blame away. My guess is that the smoke shop is a wattle and daub affair that doesn’t have a lot of assets to go after.

      (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      She obviously contributed to the situation and if our justice system was truly just, any damages that she might get from others ought to be reduced proportionately. However, even though she was a responsible (or irresponsible) party, that doesn’t mean that others weren’t also at fault. Let’s see where the actual evidence points.

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  5. standup says:

    It just never stops. Disgusting.

    (17) 21 Total Votes - 19 up - 2 down
  6. slocal says:

    She should probably then remove all photos and references of her smoking drugs or doing “dabs” with her deceased child from her Facebook page then.

    Just another frivolous lawsuit made to crush small business and remove responsibility. Shame on the Lawyer who took this one.

    (39) 49 Total Votes - 44 up - 5 down
    • LAH says:

      I agree slocal. I mean how are they going to prove the store even sold it?
      Tragic losses should be enough to keep people from using this stuff.

      (17) 19 Total Votes - 18 up - 1 down
      • OnTheOtherHand says:

        How about waiting to hear the evidence? I have no idea if she is lying about the smoke shop selling the “spice” or whether they are covering up since that may well be illegal as well as dangerous. If they did not sell it, I agree that it is a travesty that they are being sued. If they did, they should be sued out of business.

        (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down

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