A woman who survived a multi-car collision that killed two cousins in San Bruno when a motorist banned from driving had a petite mal seizure behind the wheel is suing him.
The civil lawsuit by Mary Chan against Rodney Edward Corsiglia comes a month after the 50-year-old man was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder in the July 28, 2012, deaths of cousins Arnulfo Picazo, 39, of San Bruno, and Usbaldo Picazo Gomez, 37, of South San Francisco.
The pair were on their way to pick up beverages for a baptism celebration when Corsiglia suffered a seizure and slammed into several eastbound cars at an El Camino Real stoplight while driving east on Sneath Lane just after noon.
Two adults, including Chan, and a 9-year-old boy were also hospitalized with serious injuries.
Corsiglia faces 30 years to life in prison when sentenced.
He now also faces civil penalties if found responsible for Chan’s injuries.
Echoing the prosecution arguments in Corsiglia’s criminal trial, Chan’s lawsuit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court states that he knew of his medical condition, had been prohibited from driving by the Department of Motor Vehicles and yet knowingly climbed behind the wheel without a license.
Chan was traveling east on Sneath Lane in the lane next to Corsiglia’s Toyota Tacoma, colliding with the side of her vehicle, the suit states.
As a result, Chan suffered orthopedic and neurologic injuries including those to her neck and back, post-traumatic stress disorder and ongoing pain, according to her suit.
Chan’s attorney Jennifer Fiore could not be reached for comment but wrote in the suit that Corsiglia showed a “knowing and conscious disregard for the rights and safety of others.”
Corsiglia’s driver’s license was permanently suspended in 2011 but his record of crashes linked to the condition date back to 2002. Between 2002 and 2011, Corsiglia had seven traffic accidents. Six were between 2007 and 2011 and all were reported to involve speeding and seizures. One day in 2007, Corsiglia reportedly left one Redwood City accident that injured three to rent a new car. A few hours later in San Bruno, he reportedly ran a stop sign and broadsided a car with two passengers before running off an embankment and into a tree.
In 2004, while on probation for an earlier domestic violence conviction, Corsiglia was convicted by a jury of striking his girlfriend with a telephone receiver. The defense claimed Corsiglia was unconscious at the time due to intoxication and seizures.
Last March, prior to Corsiglia’s criminal conviction, the family of Picazo and Gomez also sued him for wrongful death on behalf of the two men’s five minor children and their wives. In his response to the complaint, Corsiglia denied all of the allegations and argued that the victims may be partially to blame for their deaths by not wearing seat belts. The response also argues that the victims did not carry proper insurance coverage at the time of the accident which precludes them from seeking damages.
Corsiglia remains in custody without bail pending his sentencing hearing. A case management conference in the newest civil litigation is set for Nov. 20. An Aug. 15 conference is scheduled for the prior case.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102