Young drivers should expect to held accountable for their driving behavior regardless of their socio-economic status and their parents’ child raising style. This was a hard lesson Ethan Couch learned when his insurance carrier agreed to pay a substantial settlement in a car crash caused by his drinking and driving.
The North Texas teenager who killed four people and injured 12 in a June 2013 drunken-driving wreck has reached a settlement of more than $2 million with the family of a teenage boy left disabled.
Tarrant County, Texas court documents show that the liability insurer of Ethan Couch’s parents agreed to pay $1.64 million in cash to a trust established for Sergio E. Molina.The Couches’ insurer also will buy two annuities to make payments to the trust.
Molina was one of two teens riding in the back of then-16-year-old Couch’s Ford F-350 pickup when he struck and killed four pedestrians. Couch’s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit and there were traces of Valium in his system when the incident occurred. The crash threw Molina from the truck bed and left him paralyzed; he can now only communicate by blinking.
Couch’s case drew national attention after his attorneys argued that his wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility, which one witness termed “affluenza.” In February, Couch was sentenced to 10 years probation but received no prison time.
Five other families of the injured or killed have settled with the Couches, pending court approval. One family is seeking a jury trial.
There is simply no excuse for driving a motor vehicle when intoxicated….even the creative efforts of Ethan Couch’s defense team who developed the “affluenza defense” could not deflect the fact that Ethan Couch was severely drunk and caused the wrongful deaths of 4 innocent persons.
Please do not drive when you have been drinking and you are impaired.