More than a year after a deadly crash took the life of 32-year-old Monique Muñoz, the family reached an $18.85 million settlement in a civil lawsuit.
The settlement amounted to the maximum possible insurance payout, with the Muñoz family attorney Daniel Ghyczy saying, it was never about the money for the family.
“This amount of money is not something they’re celebrating,” Ghyczy told L.A. Weekly. “For them it was about obtaining 100% of what was available… and that the insurance companies would be sent a message that they couldn’t receive a discount on the life of Monique Muñoz.”
On Feb. 17, 2021, Muñoz was struck and killed by a Lamborghini SUV that ran a red light at more than 100 mph in West Los Angeles.
The driver, who was later identified as 17-year-old Brendan Khuri of Beverly Hills, was believed to be racing a friend during the incident.
Since the incident, Los Angeles residents have joined Muñoz family members in rallies and memorials at the scene of the crash. Social media activism also took place with #justice4moniquemunoz hashtags circulated to bring awareness to the incident.
“All they want and all they can do at this point is ask for the community to continue to spread awareness about what has happened, so that other parents don’t have to deal with the tragedy that they’ve experienced,” Ghyczy said.
When the family found that Khuri had not been charged for the death, it believed it was because of the status of Khuri’s father, James Khuri, who was a multimillionaire entrepreneur. Investigators denied those claims and said the teen was hospitalized, delaying his arrest.
In October of 2021, Khuri was sentenced 7-9 months in a juvenile camp with up to four years of probation.
Khuri was not tried as an adult, as Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon implemented a strict policy against trying minors as adults. That policy has since been revisited by Gascon saying minors may be tried as adults making exceptions to try them as adults in the “most extraordinary of cases.”
Ghyczy said any further action against Khuri would be in the hands of the L.A. District Attorney and the Muñoz family is “not seeking restitution from Brendan Khuri.”
“No amount of money is ever going to bring her back,” Ghyczy said. “They don’t care about what the money is, it’s not something that they’re celebrating today as a win, it doesn’t bring their daughter back.”
James Khuri, was charged with a misdemeanor for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” and is scheduled to appear in court on June 8.