John Goodman who adopted girlfriend settles fatal crash lawsuits for $46M
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- John Goodman, the Florida tycoon who infamously adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend, has settled lawsuits stemming from a 2010 traffic accident for $46 million, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Goodman, 48, the founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, faces up to 30 years in prison after being found guilty last month of DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash that left 23-year-old Scott Wilson dead in Wellington, Fla.
The massive settlement relates to lawsuits brought against him by Wilson's parents, Lili and William, and comes ahead of Goodman's sentencing hearing on April 30.
The $46 million figure was confirmed by Lili Wilson's attorney, Christian Searcy, who said $6 million of the total settlement would be paid by The Player's Club -- where Goodman drank before the crash.
Prosecutors successfully claimed last month that Goodman had over a dozen drinks before his Bentley crashed into Wilson's Hyundai, causing it to crash into a canal where he drowned in February 2010. Palm Beach County Medical Examiner Michael Bell testified that Wilson would have survived the crash had he not drowned.
The millionaire disputed the prosecutions claims in court, saying the cause of the crash was a malfunction in his Bentley's brakes, and that the reason he walked away from the accident was to get help for him and Wilson because his cell phone was out of battery power.
Goodman garnered headlines earlier this year when court documents in the civil lawsuits stemming from the crash revealed he had adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend as his daughter.
Goodman, the heir to an air conditioning fortune, has said through his attorneys that he adopted Heather Colby Hutchins to better manage a trust fund for his two biological children.
Attorneys for Wilson's parents allege the adoption is simply an attempt to shield assets.