Ethan Couch, the teenager who claimed “affluenza” as a defense to his actions after he fatally struck four people and injured two others on June 15, 2013, has reached wrongful death settlement agreements with three of the families of victims who were killed in the tragic accident.
The crash happened late June 15, when Couch drunkenly drove his car into a motorist whose vehicle’s tire had blown out and three others who had stopped to help him on the side of a road near Burleson, TX. Couch was allegedly traveling 70 MPH at the time of the crash, and his truck flipped after striking the pedestrians. Two teenagers who were riding in the bed of Couch’s truck were thrown from the vehicle and also suffered severe injuries. Authorities tested Couch’s blood following the crash and found the Couch’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit for adults.
Couch gained national attention when his attorneys called a psychologist to the stand who testified that Couch’s “affluenza” contributed to his actions the night of the fatal crash. The psychologist explained that “affluenza” is a term describing Couch’s stunted psychological development caused by his wealthy upbringing and his parents’ dysfunctional relationship.
Couch’s sentence was largely perceived by the general public as light, as he pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter and was sentenced to only probation and time in a rehabilitation facility.
Though Couch settled the wrongful death lawsuits with three of the families of those killed, one of the families’ lawsuits is still pending, and the family of one of the teenagers who was thrown from Couch’s truck has also sued the teenager and his family. The terms and compensation amounts of the settled lawsuits were not disclosed.
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