The family of Texas teenager Ethan Couch has agreed to pay $2 million to the family of the boy who was paralyzed during the drunk driving incident that happened in 2013.
Ethan, who was 16 years old at the time of the accident, was driving a pickup truck when he crashed into pedestrians, killing 4 and injuring several others. Reports say that he had 3 times the legal alcohol limit in his body when the accident happened.
Ethan’s case gained attention and concerned citizens accused his parents of coddling him. In 2013, Judge Jean Hudson sentenced Ethan to a 10-year probation and sent him to therapy instead of prison. The supposed reason was that the boy was suffering from "affluenza", resulting to his irresponsible behavior.
The $2 million will be paid to Sergio E. Molina, who was riding at the back of Ethan’s pickup truck when the accident happened. Molina is now paralyzed, only having the ability to blink and smile. Before the accident, Molina was a star soccer player in high school and had hopes of playing for the Barcelona soccer team.
Alexander Lemus, Molina’s older brother, said that they are not happy with the settlement, but said they have to “take what we got and strive for better days.”
The liability insurer of Ethan’s parents will be paying over $1 million in cash. The rest will be placed in a trust for Molina. An annuity to cover the attorney’s fees is also included based on court documents.
Five families of those who were killed or injured in the incident have also settled with Ethan’s family. However, their settlements are still pending court approval. Lucas McConnell, one of the victims injured in the accident, was the only one who did not opt for a settlement. His family said that they prefer going to court, as they said that is the only way they will be able to seek justice.
Ethan is being treated for mental health at the North Texas State Hospital.
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