According to newly filed court documents, one of the victims injured by a teen in a fatal drunken-driving accident has settled for close to $3 million in cash and other payments.
Sergio Molina, 17, was paralyzed when then 16-year-old Ethan Couch’s pickup slammed into a group of people who were helping a woman with a stalled car last June. Four people, including the driver and three bystanders, were killed and nine others were injured.
Prosecutors said Couch’s blood-alcohol level was three times the Texas legal limit when the accident occurred. Molina was riding in the back of his pickup truck.
Couch’s attorneys used an “affluenza” defense at his trial last year, saying the then 16-year-old had grown up with a sense of entitlement and developed poor judgment after being coddled by his wealthy parents.
Molina’s family and other victims filed lawsuits against Couch’s family and their family company Cleburne Metal Works.
Many of the settlements haven’t been disclosed, but in a final civil judgment signed off on Friday in in Tarrant County District Court by Judge R. H. Wallace, some key details emerge.
A special trust for Molina is set to receive just over $1 million in cash. There also will be close to $800,000 distributed in annuity payments over the coming decades.
Molina’s family will receive a separate $215,000 cash payment, More than $950,000 is also expected to be paid toward the family’s ongoing legal and attorney fees, according to the filing.
SOURCE: Todd Unger