Couch’s Rehab Program Costs Texan Taxpayers Thousands
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 28, 2014 – Many Texans still feel that Ethan Couch should have gone to jail for killing four people and paralyzing another.
“As many recall, Couch was a young Texas teen who killed four and paralyzed one after causing an while driving under the influence. He is currently in a rehab program which costs $438,000 a year. “Affluenza” took on a new meaning in this case. Taxpayers are now sustaining the affluenza epidemic, footing the bill for 17-year-old Couch’s stay in the North Texas State Hospital,” said Bobby Lee, an Austin personal injury lawyer who represents plaintiffs in DUI/DWI cases.
Recent media reports revealed that the hospital’s rehabilitation program costs $700 per day, with a portion of that amount funded by the state. It means the young man’s wealthy parents only pay $38 a day for his treatment. The Couch family has been sued for millions by the four families who lost loved ones when the pickup truck Couch was driving collided with a stalled vehicle, killing the driver and three others attempting to help. The fourth victim was thrown from the truck, landing on his head. He survived but is permanently paralyzed and only retains the ability to blink and smile.
“Has justice been served in this case? That’s a tough question. Certainly the teen went to court and had a trial, but in the end, landed in a place that does not seem to do justice to the memory of the four lives lost because he chose to drink and drive. Does this raise questions about due process? Yes. It raises hard questions about justice and how it is served,” added Lee. “More so when the teen is able to access stables and a high-tech gym with ease.”
While perhaps questionable, it appears the court felt the ruling it made was the best course because the teen had the potential to change and become a productive member of society. “But in the meantime, four families are struggling to get through each day, trying to come to terms with the loss of a family member. Hopefully, this young teen has the potential to emerge from therapy and turn his life around by testifying to others why it is a poor choice to drink and drive,” Lee added.
Would justice be served then? “If he does realize he could save other lives, that would be justice served later.”
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
- 59 criminal charges land 23-year-old a 5-15 year jail sentence
Dennis Drue was 23 years old when his car hit another vehicle, killing two and injuring two. Before the crash, Drue’s driving record was sadly impressive. It reflected five license suspensions, four accidents and 22 traffic tickets. His charges after the December 2012 crash included DWI, aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter. Drue turned left on to a thruway and ended two lives. The families of the victims chose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Dennis Drue, his mother (who let him drive her car even knowing his driving record), the steakhouse where he was drinking the night of the […]
- Drive sober or get pulled over
The phrase was used for a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) drive safe campaign for the Labor Day weekend, but it is something drivers need to remember year-round. The costs of DUI accidents are massive on a personal and property damage level. A recent report released by the NHTSA outlines the disturbing fact that in 2010 alone, there were 13,323 fatalities as a result of individuals driving while impaired. Meanwhile, 430,000 nonfatal injuries racked up a cost of approximately $60 billion. Together, the comprehensive costs (direct costs such as insurance and medical care) and the cost of lost quality […]
- Every day, distracted driving kills 11 teens
It’s that time of year. Children are back in school. Those with teens who drive have a lesson to pass on to their children: do not text and drive. While the lesson may be a valuable one on its own, it helps if the parents reinforcing the message do not do precisely what they are asking their teen not to do. According to the National Automotive Authority (NAA), even a five-second glance at a text message can result in death. According to an NAA spokesperson, it takes four seconds to turn right and six seconds to turn left. If a […]
- “Talk. Text. Crash.” — Texas Department of Transportation gets deadly serious about driving with cellphones
Recently, the Permian Basin has been the scene of numerous distracted-driving accidents, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) wants to reduce the numbers. Distracted driving is generally caused by using a cellphone and texting or talking, but Texas accidents have even been caused by drivers brushing their teeth, reading the newspaper, combing hair and applying makeup. TxDOT has launched an information campaign to help drivers stop driving while doing anything else but paying attention to the road. The campaign is marked by the slogan, “Talk. Text. Crash.” It is meant to remind drivers of the very real dangers of […]
- Holidays bring out the drunk drivers
Houston was relatively quiet over the Labor Day long weekend, a fact credited to the combined efforts of the sheriff’s department, city police departments and constables’ offices. The multi-agency coverage for the long weekend ensured that many drunk drivers were taken off the roads, but it did not prevent intoxicated Texans from getting behind the wheel. Over the holiday, Harris County racked up a record, reporting 192 DUI arrests. That number bears repeating – 192 arrests for driving while under the influence. One hundred and ninety-two individuals who made the negligent choice to drink too much and then climb behind […]