BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A family’s pursuit continues in civil court against Dr. James Corasanti. During pretrial arguments for the civil case against the Dr., the judge denied almost all of the defense's motions. The Rice family attorney is calling it a win but Corasanti's attorney said it wasn't a surprise.
Dr. Corsanti was found guilty of DWI but not the other serious charges in the hit-and-run death of teen Alix Rice. The Rice family is now pursuing a civil lawsuit against Dr. Corasanti.
In pretrial motions, the defense claimed there were no punitive damages, no conscious pain and suffering and Rice wasn't afraid before she was struck and killed.
But the judge denied all of those motions. As a result the jury will be able to consider awarding punitive damages and what the compensation should be, if any. Rice family attorney Terry Connors said, “No one can bring her back, so the only relief they can see is to try to have a jury compensate, or provide an award for that.”
The judge also ruled that the jury can hear that Dr. Corasanti was intoxicated at the time of the accident. This was established as a matter of law because of Corasanti's previous criminal conviction.
Richard Sullivan, Dr. Corasanti’s lawyer said, “The parents do not recover in a wrongful death case for grief, sympathy, anything like that. It’s purely a dollars and cents recovery.”
The defense will be able to review Rice's medical records before the trial begins but the judge hasn't decided if they can be used in court. The defense wouldn't say what they're expecting the records to show. Some involved parties say they expect the trial to get started in March. The jury can chose any amount of compensation and it is not covered by insurance.
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