When sixteen-year-old Ethan Couch killed four people and paralyzed another, the Best&Brightest here at TTAC expressed an almost universally negative view of his actions and the “Affluenza” defense that enabled him to avoid prison in favor of a $450,000 rehabilitation vacation.
Any defenders Mr. Couch did have, however, will likely reconsider their position on the matter given the latest news from the incident.
As the family of Sergio Molina, the teen who was paralyzed in the accident, sues the Couch family for $20 million, more details from the night have surfaced. The first allegation, which has appeared in multiple reports, is that Ethan was apprehended approximately a quarter-mile from the crash, fleeing on foot. Another report states that Ethan said, “I’m Ethan Couch, I’ll get you out of this” to one of the passengers at the scene.
Given that the criminal court’s ruling on the crash amounts to a state-endorsed label of parental misconduct, the civil attorneys for everyone involved have to be salivating. Still, according to at least one attorney, the “affluenza” verdict might not help the civil cases at all. A few notes on the psychology of “affluenza”, along with some first-class frothing-at-the-mouth, can be found at Daily Kos.