One of three people injured when a car crashed into a Westwood restaurant near UCLA in 2019 is suing the alleged driver, the eatery, the city of Los Angeles and the UC Regents.
Matthew Ryan’s lawsuit names as defendants Elizabeth Pasternak, who allegedly was behind the wheel of the sedan that drove through the entrance of Pinches Tacos on Glendon Avenue about noon on June 4, 2019. The Los Angeles Superior Court suit filed Tuesday alleges negligence, premises liability and dangerous condition of public property. Ryan seeks unspecified damages.
Pasternak, now 77, and a representative for the UC Regents could not be immediately reached. Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office, said the complaint will be reviewed, but that he had no further comment.
Miguel Anaya, a co-owner of Pinches, said he had not seen the lawsuit and declined to comment.
The suit alleges the UC Regents and the city were responsible for the safety of patrons on the property and that both had an obligation to place barriers and signs on the property, which the suit describes as a “concealed trap” because of vision obstructions. Pinches also had a duty to make the premises safer, according to the suit.
The claim filed before the lawsuit was brought, which was attached to the suit, states Ryan was “a lawful pedestrian on the sidewalk and in the adjoining businesses,” but it does not specify where he was when he was hit.
According to the police report also attached to the complaint, the 30-year-old Ryan did not see the car before he was struck and suffered injuries to his left knee and lower body. Both he and Pasternak are Los Angeles residents.
The police report further states that Pasternak said she was driving at about 15 mph north on Glendon, then turned right to park in an angled space on the street in front of the restaurant. However, she reportedly was unable to apply the brake and drove through the front door of Pinches, striking a pillar.
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