Remember how outraged everyone was after the defense attorney for Ethan Couch, also known as “Affluenza Teen,” argued that his client was a victim of his family’s wealth, which affected his judgment when he decided to drive drunk? And then there was the equally infuriating decision by the judge to sentence Couch to 10 years probation and rehab–no jail time–for an accident he caused that killed four people. To further add insult to injury, it was revealed yesterday that Affluenza Teen’s parents are getting a huge break on the cost of his expensive rehab treatment on the taxpayer’s dime.
In June 2013, Couch ran off the side of the road while driving his Ford F-350. Couch struck and killed four pedestrians, plus severely injured two of his own passengers. Couch, then 16, had a blood alcohol content level of .24 at the time of the accident, plus had traces of Valium in his system. During Couch’s trial six months later, his lawyer argued that he suffered from a disease called “affluenza.” Apparently having rich parents caused Couch to have poor judgment and to be unable to understand that his actions have consequences. Couch was eventually sentenced to 10 years probation and an undisclosed period in a rehab treatment facility.
According to Star-Telegram out of Forth Worth, the cost of the rehab facility the now 17-year-old is being treated at, the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, is $715 per day. At that rate, a month at the facility will cost just over $21,000. Even though the teen’s parents originally offered to foot the bill for a posh, out-of-state rehab facility, they will only have to pay a fraction of the cost for the state facility.
Following a hearing on Friday morning to decide how much Couch’s parents should pay for his rehab costs, it was determined that they should pay only $1,170 per month. No, we didn’t leave off a zero on that figure. Affluenza Teen’s parents will pay just under $1,200 per month for a facility that costs $21,000.
“The family respects the decision of the facility and of the court and will honor the payment system that the court has put in place,” said Lance Evans, the attorney for Couch’s parents.
The news that Couch’s parents aren’t obligated to pay more for their son’s expensive treatment has angered the masses. The decision is being discussed all over Twitter and Facebook, and it’s safe to say that most people are completely disappointed with the system yet again.
"Affluenza" douche's parents are going to foot approximately 5% of the bill for his "treatment"! Taxpayer win! http://t.co/ZSJFNDJQd4
— J.S. (@jzoni) April 12, 2014
— Veronica (@vevecurl) April 12, 2014
Even though Couch’s parents are getting off easy on the cost of the rehab facility, it is likely that they will be forking over cash soon. Affluenza Teen’s parents face multiple lawsuits related to the accident, and some of the plaintiffs are asking for more than $1 million in damages.
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