Recently one of our firm partners, Greg Coontz represented the family of a youth pastor Brian Jennings, who was recently killed in a drunk driving accident in Burleson. The family, having lost their bread-winner, filed a lawsuit against Ethan Couch and his family for compensation for wrongful death. Ethan drove drunk last summer in Burleson killing four people after he plowed into a group of people. Ethan is being referred to as an "affluenza" teen by his defense team in this case. This means that the teenager had a wealthy upbringing and very little parenting growing up and lacked judgment in this matter.
There were a total of seven lawsuits filed against Ethan Couch's family because four different people were killed that day. The Jennings family is nearing a settlement deal with the court. This story, although tragic, does not sound too out of the ordinary. However, the Jennings family is the not only party seeking restitution for the wrongful death of Brian Jennings.
Apparently, Brian's estranged father heard about the accident and came forward seeking 5% of the family's total settlement. The unsettling part is that Brian and his father had only seen each other twice in the last 27 years, so you can see how it is offensive for the father to now come forward seeking compensation.
In the end, Judge R. H. Wallace ruled that JP Jennings, father of Brian Jennings, would not receive any money from the family's settlement. The total amount of the Jennings family settlement was not considered confidential and was not disclosed. However we can say that the family felt it was not as much as they deserved, even though money cannot bring Brian back or end their pain. To hear more on this story check out the news video on this case: