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$18.8 million settlement reached in Lamborghini crash that killed Monique Munoz

$18.85 million settlement reached in deadly crash that killed Monique Munoz in Feb. 2021 03:00

An $18.8 million-settlement has been reached between the family of a woman killed in a crash with a red light-running Lamborghini SUV and the family of the 17-year-old who was behind the wheel.

The settlement was reached on behalf of the family of 32-year-old Monique Munoz, who was killed on Feb. 17, 2021, when a Lamborghini ran a red light at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Overland Avenue and slammed into her vehicle at over 100 miles per hour as she tried to turn left during rush hour traffic. She had been on her way home from her job at UCLA Health in Los Angeles.

A crash involving a Lamborghini in West Los Angeles which left a 32-year-old woman dead on Feb. 17, 2021. (CBSLA)

Brendan Khuri, the 17-year-old son of millionaire businessman James Khuri, was sentenced to 9 months in a juvenile camp after admitting to his part in the crash.

Daniel Ghyczy, one of the attorneys representing the Munoz family, said the case against the Khuri family was never about money.

"The family faced numerous hurdles from both private insurance companies and the LA District Attorney's office, and experienced the harsh realities of racism and bias against those from underserved communities," Ghyczy said in a statement. "The family pleaded for the District Attorney to investigate this case and met with the office dozens of times to advocate for their family."

According to the attorneys, Brendan Khuri and his father often posted video of themselves on social media racing across Los Angeles' busy surface streets, sometimes against each other. Brendan Khuri had only received his license a few months before the fatal crash, and had already had several run-ins with law enforcement, including one that ended up with his Lamborghini SUV being impounded by the Beverly Hills Police Department, the attorneys said. The SUV was returned to Brendan by his father less than two days later, according to tow records.

A restitution hearing on Wednesday was postponed to a later date, when the the Khuri's total monetary recovery will be determined and could exceed $25 million, according to the Munoz family's attorneys.

But for the Munoz family, it was never about the money, but about making sure the driver was held accountable for his actions.

They rallied and protested in the months following the fatal crash, all the while fighting for "Justice for Monique."

CBS reporters spoke with Munoz's mother in late 2021, when Khuri appeared for one of his scheduled court appearances.

"I didn't want to see him. I didn't want to see his family," she said. "At the end of the day, he was the last person to see my daughter alive."

Residents in the West Los Angeles neighborhood, where they remember Munoz on a daily basis with their permanent memorial called "Monique's Tree," rejoiced after hearing the settlement, hoping that her family can finally get the closure they've been searching for. 

"All of us on this street, when we heard it, ran out," said Nancy Chang, who detailed the heartbreaking event. "It was heart-wrenching witnessing. ... We were with her throughout, because her family, I don't think they were informed until later that night."

The tree in the neighborhood features a stenciled picture of Munoz's face and a plaque bearing her name. The curb in front of the tree also reads "RIP Monique" in pink letters. 

"Losing a loved one is not easy. I'm just praying that they'll find peace," Chang concluded. 

James Khuri posted a statement on the settlement on his personal Instagram account, which read: 

"As a parent, we hope for the best for our children and words cannot describe how we feel when horrible things happen to our kids. It saddens me that nothing can bring back Ms. Monique Munoz from the car accident between her and my son, and I hope that the $18.85 million insurance settlement will build a new beginning that will honor her spirit. My deepest condolences to those who knew her and miss her."

He has been charged with a misdemeanor for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on June 8.

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