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Corasanti jury sent home for weekend

The jury at Dr. James G. Corasanti’s civil trial was sent home Friday morning without hearing any testimony in the 2011 hit-and-run collision that killed Alexandria “Alix” Rice.

State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski told jurors that he had made a ruling on a legal issue in the case and that as a result, no witnesses would testify Friday.

He instructed jurors to return Monday when the trial will resume at 10 a.m.

After sending the jury home shortly after 11 a.m., the judge met in chambers with the attorneys for about 15 minutes.

The trial stems from a wrongful-death lawsuit that Rice’s parents filed against the Getzville physician after he fatally struck her the night of July 8, 2011, on Heim Road in Amherst.

Corasanti, 59, was driving home drunk from the Transit Valley Country Club. Rice, 18, was riding her longboard home from her job at a pizzeria.

Rice’s parents, Richard J. Rice and Tammy A. Schueler, seek monetary damages for their daughter’s suffering as well as their own economic loss as a result of her premature death. They also seek punitive damages.

Defense lawyers contend that the victim died immediately and that her actions contributed to her death.

Corasanti was acquitted in 2012 by an Erie County Court jury of manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and evidence tampering. He was convicted of misdemeanor drunken driving and served eight months in jail.