Drunk Driving Case: Brain-Injured Teen Gets Millions From Family of Teen Driver Suffering From ‘Affluenza’
By Alyssa Ashley Lucas | May 8, 2014 1:47 PM EST
A brain-injured teen involved in a fatal car accident that occurred a year ago has been reported to receive nearly $3 million after the incident was settled with the family of the teen drunk driver claimed to have suffered from "affluenza."
Sergio Molina, 17, was said to have been critically injured after the fatal car accident. The youth is currently under medication in a state-owned mental health facility, according to Fort Worth Star Telegram newspaper.
In June 2013, Ethan Couch, a wealthy then 16-year-old Texas resident, was reported to have slammed his pickup truck into another car on the side of the road, killing a group of people helping Breanna Mitchell, woman with the stalled car. The accident was reported to have killed four people, including Mitchell, Hollie and Shelby Boyles and a youth minister named Brian Jennings, and injured others, including Sergio Molina.
Couch was reportedly drunk while driving. His blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was seen three times the legal limit for an adult. The wealthy teen was also claimed to have suffered affluenza, a condition believed to be where ample amount of wealth blinded an individual from his responsibilities.
Oliver James, an author referred to have travelled the world to learn about affluenza, described the term as an "obsessive, envious, keeping up with the Joneses." James further explained in his book available on Amazon under the same title that affluenza is an epidemic, which has brought upon the increase in "depression and anxiety" among millions of people worldwide.
According to a previous report, the wealthy teen only received probation. In December of the same year, he was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered by the court to get therapy. Apparently, families of the victims have been outraged with the court order.
Lawyers claimed Couch was an "affluenza" victim, which swayed the ruling and made the judge decide that he needed treatment and rehabilitation instead of spending time in jail. But a report from Reuters said the American Psychiatric Association does not recognize "affluenza" as a diagnosis.
The family of Couch was recently ordered to pay a lump sum of more than $1.6 million to the brain-injured Sergio Molina. USA Today reported the total amount to be paid by the wealthy family was nearly $3 million, including cash and other payments.
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