Is Affluenza Case Over Now That Last Claim Has Settled?

Ethan Couch Tragedy Resonates Two Years Later

This overprivileged kid climbed behind the wheel of his father’s company’s Ford F-350 truck in June 2013. He was wasted on alcohol and drugs. The 16-year-old’s blood alcohol content was a staggering three times the legal limit — if he were 21. 

Couch brutally crashed the truck into four bystanders, killing them, and injured several of his passengers, crippling one.

But this would have been just another horrific crash that got a few inches of space in a newspaper until lawyers created the now legendary “affluenza” defense” in his juvenile trial. 

I was in the courtroom when the famous words were uttered since I was representing the 15-year-old student who had been riding in the bed of Couch’s truck. The young man heart suffered profound brain damage causing permanent disabilities that will require round-the-clock care for the rest of his life. 

The judge heard three days of grueling testimony, including statements read by the victims’  families, but only sentenced Couch to10 years probation. The public was naturally outraged, believing that the father’s wealth kept his son from being locked up. The case became international news.

Media Continues To Report On Case

ABC’s 20/20 just covered the case Friday after a 12 year old with minor physical injuries who was in another vehicle hit by Couch’s truck reached a settlement.

The company’s insurance company released the funds remaining after the other victims’ families had settled their lawsuits.

Walk Like MADD To Stop Drunk Driving 

Trying to prevent horrifying tragedies like this is why the Berenson Law Firm is again the Presenting Sponsor of the Fort Worth Walk Like MADD. This is an inspirational event that raises money for and awareness of drunk driving prevention.

Please join us this Saturday morning at 8:30 o’clock a.m. at Panther Island and walk through Trinity Park. Together we can hopefully curtail future nightmares like this one. Click here to register. Walk Like MADD.

Is This The End Of The Road For this Case?

We would all like to think that the terror of that night is finally over. But as long as the death and injury rates from DWI cases continue to spiral, the next “accident” is waiting to happen. 

Just last year in Texas, over 1,000 people were killed in collisions involving an intoxicated driver. And just last year in Dallas and Tarrant Counties, there were about 4,000 crashes caused by drunk drivers — an average of 11 a day.

We must ramp up criminal and civil enforcement of our driving while intoxicated laws. We must end the drunken mayhem on our roads before the next tragedy occurs and the next clever defense goes viral.

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