Teen's Family to Pay Victim $2M in "Affluenza" Case

Wednesday, May 7, 2014  |  Updated 3:56 AM PDT
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Teen's Family to Pay Victim $2M in "Affluenza" Case

Ethan Couch (inset left with graphic) faces five civil lawsuits for a June 2013 crash that killed four people and injured two others.

The family of a North Texas teenager whose defense blamed “affluenza” for his deadly DUI wreck has reached a more than $2 million settlement with the family of one of his victims.

The family of Sergio Molina reached an agreement with the family of Ethan Couch to settle claims for injuries the teen sustained when he was thrown from the back of pickup truck that Couch was driving when he killed four people and injured several others in June 2013. Molina was left with a serious brain injury and is unable to walk or talk.

In total, the Couch family will pay the Molina family over $2 million, according to a copy of the settlement.

A trust established for Molina will receive a lump-sum payment of $1.638 million in cash from the family's insurance.

In addition to that lump sum, the Couch family has agreed to purchase annuities to provide periodic payments to the Sergio Molina Trust in the amounts of $1,515 per month and $1,837 per month, to be paid for life. The Couch family has also purchased an annuity to pay attorney’s fees of $10,612 per month, guaranteed for 10 years, for a total sum of $990,000.

The two sides reached a deal on Friday. Details of the settlement were released Monday. 

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."

Five other families of the injured or killed have settled with the Couches, pending court approval. One family is seeking a jury trial.

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