Family of 'Affluenza' Teen to Pay Survivor Nearly $3M

Victim was paralyzed in crash that killed 4 others

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 6, 2014 3:58 PM CDT | Updated May 6, 2014 4:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – The parents of the teen who gained national notoriety for his "affluenza" defense after a deadly DUI crash will pay a paralyzed victim almost $3 million. The family of Ethan Couch reached the settlement with the family of Sergio Molino, who was riding in the back of Couch's pickup when it crashed last year in Texas, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Four people were killed, and today Sergio can do no more than blink and smile, say his parents. Couch got a light sentence of probation and rehab, after a witness argued that his rich parents coddled the 16-year-old so much that he didn't have a good sense of right and wrong.

Sergio's family was hoping for a larger amount. "We're not happy about it, but we just have to take what we got and strive for better days," his brother tells AP. The breakdown: About $1.2 million in cash, $800,000 in annuity payments, and nearly $1 million for legal fees, reports USA Today. It's the first settlement finalized in the case, while five others await court approval. Another family decided to forgo a settlement and plans to go to trial. (Couch has begun his rehab at a state-run mental health facility, and his parents will have to pay just a small part of that cost.)

In this December 2013 image taken from a video by KDFW-FOX 4, Ethan Couch is seen during a court hearing in Fort Worth, Texas.   (AP Photo/KDFW-FOX 4, File)
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