‘Affluenza’ Teen Sued By Families Of His Victims
“Affluenza” teenager Ethan Couch may have avoided jail time, but he won’t be able to avoid lawsuits. Five lawsuits have been filed against Couch by the families who lost loved ones due to his reckless DWI driving. The Texas teenager killed four people while driving drunk in Burleston, TX, and had a blood alcohol level of .24, three times the legal limit. However, Couch shockingly avoided a possible 20 years of jail time and instead received a decade of probation after his legal team testified that he had affluenza, meaning that he did not understand the consequences of his actions because of his privileged upbringing.
The families of the crash victims are now pursuing legal action against Couch, his father Fred and his father’s company Cleburne Metal Works, which owned the vehicle the teenager was driving in. The parents of two people injured in the crash are also suing. Prosecutors are also trying to get the case reopened so that Couch can potentially face jail time for his actions, although that prospect seems increasingly unlikely.
Eric Boyles, whose wife and daughter were among those killed, was stunned and distraught by the verdict. “For twenty-five weeks, I’ve been going through a healing process. And so when the verdict came out, I mean, my immediate reaction is — I’m back to week one,” he said. “We have accomplished nothing here. My healing process is out the window.”
Couch is currently staying at a $450,000 per year rehab center in Newport Beach, CA. Mike Hashimoto of the Dallas Morning News summed up the case by writing, “Despite all the death in his wake, Couch didn’t learn a thing he didn’t already know: It’s far better to come from that wealthy place where actions seldom have those nasty old consequences. That’s for other folks.”