Many of those family members were outraged when 16-year-old Ethan Couch got probation after a psychologist testified he had “affluenza” — meaning he thought he was immune from punishment because he was rich.
Couch’s family may still be on the hook for millions in related civil litigation, though. (Unlike a criminal case, Couch can’t be sentenced to jail or be found guilty. He could, however, be found liable and have to pay a monetary penalty.)
The accident happened on a road south of Fort Worth, Texas in June, when a woman named Breanna Mitchell’s SUV broke down, according to CNN. Hollie Boyles and her daughter, Shelby, left their home to help Mitchell, and a youth pastor named Brian Jennings also stopped to assist.
All four were killed when Couch ran them over in his Ford-350, which also struck a parked car, which slid into another vehicle headed in the opposite direction. Couch’s pickup truck was carrying seven passengers, two of whom were severely injured.
Couch’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.
Eric and Marguerite Boyles have filed one lawsuit on behalf of Hollie Boyles and her daughter, Shelby, seeking more than $US1 million, according to NBC. Marla Mitchell, the mother of Breanna, is also suing for unspecified damages, as is Shaunna Jennings, the wife of the youth pastor who was killed.
Couch also faces two lawsuits from passengers from in his own truck. One seeks $US20 million on behalf of a teen who was thrown from the truck during the crash and can no longer speak or move, and the other seeks unspecified damages on behalf of another teen passenger.
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