A Fresno man is suing the city of Fresno, seeking damages for medical expenses and other losses from injuries he suffered after being rear-ended by a Fresno police officer in 2016.
The collision happened on Sept. 27, 2016 on the Olive Avenue onramp to northbound Highway 99. Andengwisye Holley slowed his 2014 Nissan Altima at a yellow light and was hit by a Fresno police vehicle, a 2007 Dodge Charger, driven by Miguel Angel Archan, said Garrett May, Holley’s attorney who filed the lawsuit.
In Archan’s deposition, he testified he hit the gas on the onramp in an attempt to make it through the light, May said.
Both Holley’s Altima and the police car sustained major damages, May said. Holley lost consciousness and suffered neck and back pain. He received a series of pain management injections in both his neck and back before undergoing anterior cervical discectomy with fusion, or ACDF, surgery. The surgery is performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord in the neck by removing damaged parts of a disc. Then a bone graft or cage is inserted to replace the disc.
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The surgery was successful, and Holley’s life dramatically improved afterward, May said. But Holley’s medical expenses alone climbed to the six-figure range.
Most of all, Holley’s ability to care for his 7-year-old son was affected by the crash, May said.
In the lawsuit, Holley is seeking medical expenses, lost income, damages related to his damaged car, attorney fees and more.
“Our policy as a law firm is to diligently represent the interest of our client, even if it’s against large corporation, public entity, city or county,” May said. “Whatever it takes to find justice for those clients is our primary goal. We have, as we do in every case, vigorously fought for Mr. Holley’s rights.”
The Fresno City Council will discuss the case in closed session of Thursday’s meeting. The case is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 9.
Holley initially submitted a claim to the city in 2016, but the city never acted on it, meaning Holley could pursue the law suit, May said.
Archan remains working for Fresno Police Department as an officer, said Lt. Mark Hudson, the department’s public information officer.
City officials declined to comment on the case, citing a practice to not comment on pending litigation.