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Man Hit By Car at Goleta Trader Joe’s Sues Driver, Shopping Center

A man injured by a car that drove into a Goleta Trader Joe’s has filed a lawsuit against the driver and property owners of the Calle Real Shopping Center.

On Oct. 8, 2016, the 85-year-old driver of a Toyota Prius drove into the store and caused major injuries to a man who was taken to the hospital, and minor injuries to two children who were not taken to the hospital, authorities said.

At the time, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said it appeared the driver was in the process of parking when he drove “at a high rate of speed into the front entrance of the store.”

The Goleta Traffic Unit determined no crime had occurred, and the driver was cooperative during the investigation, department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said Wednesday.

Matthew and Erin Quirk filed a lawsuit against the driver, Berl Golomb, Earl M. Hill Family Limited Partnership; The Towbes Group, owners of the property; Trader Joe’s Company and Cal Real Properties, asking for damages for negligence and loss of consortium.

Golomb was the owner and driver of the Prius that hit Matthew Quirk, an associate professor at UCSB, who was walking on the sidewalk in front of the store at the time, the complaint alleges.

The car sent Quirk “crashing through the glass front doors to the interior of the store,” causing nervous system and “significant personal injuries,” the complaint says.

The lawsuit alleges there was a “lack of adequate vehicle barriers in place to protect against errant vehicles intruding into the pedestrian path of travel in pedestrian-only areas,” and that the defendants should have known it was a dangerous condition.

The complaint asks for medical and incidental expenses, lost earnings, and loss of consortium. Quirk’s wife, Erin, is named as a plaintiff suing for loss of consortium.

Quirk could and did perform duties as a spouse before the collision, including support, love, companionship, and care of his family, the complaint says, alleging a future loss of support, love and physical assistance in operating and maintaining a home.

A July 7 case-management conference is scheduled in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Both Quirks are on the faculty list as associate professors at UCSB’s Gevirtz School Graduate School of Education.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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