'Affluenza' Teen's Parents to Pay Fraction of Rehab Fee

Ethan Couch's family responsible for about $1K of $21K monthly bill
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2014 10:02 AM CDT
'Affluenza' Teen's Parents to Pay Fraction of Rehab Fee
In this December 2013 image taken from a video by KDFW-FOX 4, Ethan Couch is seen during his court hearing in Fort Worth, Texas.   (AP Photo/KDFW-FOX 4, File)

Remember "affluenza teen"? That would be Ethan Couch of Texas, who killed four people while driving drunk at age 16. The relatively light sentence he drew—probation and treatment in rehab—drew national scorn, and this won't help: His parents have been ordered to pay $1,170 a month for his stint at a state-run rehab facility, just a fraction of the full cost of about $21,000 a month, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Considering that Ethan's attorney argued that he suffered from "affluenza"—essentially that he is spoiled rich kid who never learned right from wrong—the payment isn't sitting well with victims' families.

“As a taxpayer, I probably feel exactly like you do,” says an attorney who represents one of the families. He notes that the amount was set by the facility and is the maximum under its sliding-fee scale, reports NBC of Dallas-Fort Worth. But "it seems like maybe that ought to be a little different and should be addressed if there’s the ability to pay." And apparently, that ability exists: During sentencing, the family offered to send the teenager to a facility that costs $450,000 a year. (More affluenza stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.