Victims’ families file multimillion dollar lawsuits against “affluenza” teen
DALLAS (NBC) – After a controversial sentence by a Texas judge, the families of the victims who were injured or killed in a drunk driving crash are now suing a teen who claimed “affluenza” prevented him from knowing the consequences for his actions.
Ethan Couch, 16, was sentenced to an alcohol treatment facility and 10 years of probation after he was convicted of drunken driving, which resulted in the deaths of four people.
In June, Breanna Mitchell’s vehicle broke down on the side of a North Texas road.
Hollie and Shelby Boyles both stopped to lend a hand, along with youth pastor Brian Jennings.
As they were trying to fix the stranded vehicle, the group was hit by Couch, who was driving while intoxicated.
The sentence sparked outrage after Couch’s defense attorneys said he suffered from “affluenza,” meaning that since his family is so rich, he was unable to know right from wrong.
Five civil lawsuits have been filed, including three lawsuits from the families of the four victims who were killed.
Eric Boyles is suing Couch for more than $1 million in damages after his wife and daughter were killed when they were hit by Couch’s vehicle.
Marla Mitchell, who was on the phone with her daughter Breanna when she was hit and killed, is suing for unspecified damages.
Shaunna Jennings, the wife of Brian Jennings, is seeking unspecified damages for her and their three children.
Also, two other people who were injured in the crash have filed lawsuits against Couch.
Lucas McConnell, who was riding with Jennings, was injured in the wreck.
His parents are seeking unspecified damages.
Sergio Molina was riding in the bed of Couch’s truck when he was thrown from the vehicle during the crash.
He suffered a severe brain injury and is no longer able to move or talk.
The Molina family is seeking damages of $20 million.
In the lawsuits, Couch’s parents are included, along with the family company.
According to KXAS, the company owned the truck that was driven by Couch during the crash.