The family of Monique Munoz has reached a settlement deal more than a year after her death.
Munoz was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles in February 2021 after the teenage son of a millionaire entrepreneur crashed into her at over 100MPH in his Lamborghini.
A Settlement Deal is Reached
February 17, 2021, 17-year-old Brendan Khuri was driving his Lamborghini SUV at over 100MPH. Khuri's car struck 32-year-old Munoz's vehicle, and she died from the impact.
Brendan is the son of multi-millionaire entrepreneur and businessman James Khuri, and they have been seeking justice for the last year.
NBC Los Angeles reports, "The family's attorney announced the settlement Wednesday.
'Today is a significant milestone because the Muñoz family can finally get some closure for this horrific tragedy,' attorney Daniel Ghyczy, who represents the family, said in a statement. 'The family faced numerous hurdles from both private insurance companies and the L.A. District Attorney's office, and experienced the harsh realities of racism and bias against those from underserved communities.'"
NBC adds, "'The family pleaded for the district attorney to investigate this case and met with the office dozens of times to advocate for their family,' Ghyczy said. 'It was never about money for the Muñoz family, it was about acknowledgement of (the teen's) misconduct that resulted in the death of their only daughter and to ensure that he was held accountable. Today's settlement is a testament to their efforts and is a step closer to justice.'"
The deal awards around $18 million to Munoz's family, but it's small comfort to those who will celebrate every milestone for the rest of their lives without her.
The Crash and the Aftermath
During rush hour on February 17, 2021, Munoz was heading home to Hawthorne from her job at UCLA Health of Los Angeles.
When she reached the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Overland Avenue, she went to take a left turn. It was a 35MPH zone.
In the moments leading up to the crash, the car's event recorder clocked speeds of 106MPH. Although he did appear to apply the brakes, Brendan slammed into her Lexus sedan at a rate of just under 100MPH, and the aftermath of the accident was a shocking site to first responders.
Unfortunately, in the wake of the crash, the Khuri family's behavior threw salt in the wound of the Munoz family. Father James spent time scrubbing the family's image on Google and partied it up, seemingly showing no remorse for the fact that not only had his son killed someone through reckless behavior, but was himself hospitalized and injured.
The Munoz family and supporters started a #JusticeForMonique movement and pled with the county to file charges against the teen.
To them and so many others, it was about more than Munoz's death. It was about the fact that the person who recklessly caused her death was about to walk away scot-free.
Brendan did eventually apologize to the Munoz family in court, saying, "Please know that I am so deeply sorry from the bottom of my heart."
But it took immense pressure from the public to ring an apology from James, and in the apology he said the family had agreed to a settlement - which they had not yet done.
Critics say that after the crash despite an abundance of evidence, James's status kept his son from being arrested and charged for an uncomfortable length of time.
It wasn't until October of 2021 that Brendan was sentenced with what felt like a slap on the wrist; seven to nine months in juvenile camp for vehicular manslaughter.
It sparked an online debate that raged across the country about privilege and escaping accountability, and meanwhile the Munoz family continued to push for justice.
While a settlement is small comfort in the face of their enormous loss, it's at least an acknowledgement that what happened to her was horrible, and it was wrong.