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.”

To learn more, visit http://www.lgrlawfirm.com

Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
Phone: 512.478.8080

  • Could MADD plates work in Texas?
    South Carolina’s MADD came up with a new way to drive home the message that drunk driving kills – a new special license plate remembering drunk driving victims.  In South Carolina alone, drunk driving claimed 358 victims in 2012. That year, more than 10,000 died across the nation. A $20 bill buys the plate, and ten dollars of the initial sale goes to support MADD’s work in the purchaser’s state. Could this work in Texas? No reason why it couldn’t be tried.  It’s one more effective, visual, and very mobile campaign to repeat the oft-heard refrain: don’t drink and drive.  […]
  • Warsaw researchers design a new way to detect alcohol in a moving vehicle
    In breaking news, scientists working for the Military University of Technology in Warsaw have developed a laser system able to detect alcohol in moving cars while standing at roadside. The laser detects alcohol vapors, then sends a message, a snapshot of the car and the license plate number to a waiting police officer. The vehicle can then be stopped by law enforcement, and the officer has the opportunity to conduct further traditional roadside alcohol tests. The benefits of such a system are immediately obvious. It would reduce the number of cars that need to be manually checked by police, and […]
  • Eighteen-wheelers can cause major, fatal traffic accidents
    On a recent Sunday evening, an 18-wheeler found itself stalled on I-35 South at Rittiman Road. As a result, several other vehicles behind the big rig were involved in a chain-reaction crash. There were a number of serious injuries, and the police shut that section of the Interstate down until they could clean up the debris left by the accident and transport injured drivers to various medical facilities for care. A police investigation was launched to determine the exact cause of the accident and to find out whether or not the truck had a mechanical defect that caused it to […]
  • Repeat drunk driving offenders are not uncommon
    Despite drunk driving campaigns and a series of laws relating to DWIs, repeat drunk driving offenders remain common. James Fisher has been arrested 12 times since 1991 for driving while intoxicated. Fisher’s last arrest took place just after his release from prison for serving time for a 2009 DUI conviction. There are hundreds of cases like this every year. According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, 37 percent of the 5,400 individuals arrested for DUI in 2012 were repeat offenders. Many states have extremely strict DWI laws and steep fines, but they have not stopped some people from […]
  • Pregnant moms may be at higher risk for car accidents
    Pregnant mothers-to-be may be at a higher risk for being involved in car accidents. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that, during a three-year period, the study group of over 500,000 women were involved in 7,000 collisions that resulted in hospital stays. The statistics included 757 accidents during the second trimester. Issues associated with pregnancy include anxiety, nausea, fatigue and distraction — factors that could contribute to driver error. In order to avert accidents during pregnancy, a doctor and researcher from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences suggested that women take ever greater care to drive […]