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'Affluenza' driver's family settles with 2 victims' families

The family of "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch has agreed to pay settlements to the families of Breanna Mitchell, Hollie and Shelby Boyles and Isaiah McLaughlan.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   March 19, 2014 at 5:29 PM   |   Comments

March 19 (UPI) -- The family of Ethan Couch, the Texas teen who avoided serious punishment after he drove drunk and killed four people, has settled civil lawsuits with families of several of his victims.

Ethan, 17, was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.24 in June when he struck and killed four people standing near a car that had pulled onto the side of the road with a flat tire. Several of the teens riding in bed of Ethan's pickup were also injured in the crash.

The Couch family has agreed to pay undisclosed amounts to the families of Breanna Mitchelle, 24, who had been driving the car with the flat, and Hollie Boyles, 52, and her daughter Shelby, 21, who had left their house to assist Mitchell.

The Couch family and Ethan's father's Cleburne business will pay Isaiah McLaughlan and his family $114,000 in the agreement. Isaiah's family has not commented on the extent of his injuries beyond saying they were "severe."

No settlement has been reached between the Couches and the family of youth pastor Brian Jennings, 43, who had also gone to help Mitchell. A hearing scheduled for Friday is for the apportionment of funds.

Neither has a settlement been reached with the family of Sergio Molina, another teen who was flung from the truck. Sergio is paralyzed and minimally conscious, his family's attorney said, and he requires round-the-clock care.

Lucas McConnell, another teen who was in Ethan's truck, was injured and has filed a civil lawsuit.

Ethan pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter in juvenile court and was sentenced to 10 years probation and rehab. The judge's decision to give him probation instead of jail time because he suffered from "affluenza," meaning his parents had failed to teach him moral guidelines and responsibilities, infuriated the local community and made national headlines.


[Dallas News]
[KSDK]

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