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Civil suits seek millions from 'affluenza' Texas teen's family

Published on Jan 11, 2014 6:38 AM

FORT WORTH, Texas (REUTERS) - Five of the six civil lawsuits filed against a Texas teen who killed four people driving drunk were combined this week, with plaintiffs seeking millions of dollars from the parents of the youth, whose lawyers argued he was a victim of his family's wealth.

The case has set off an emotional debate, and not just in the suburbs of Fort Worth, Texas, where the deaths occurred in June 2013, because a psychologist for the teenager said he suffered from "affluenza".

The condition, not recognised by the American Psychiatric Association as a diagnosis, was described as one where a person feels shielded from responsibility by money, having led a life of privilege paid for by parents.

The civil suits were filed on behalf of the four people killed in the crash and three people injured when the youth slammed his pickup truck loaded with his friends into a car that had broken down on a road near Fort Worth.

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