The family of a woman who died in a 2019 boat crash involving the late Paul Murdaugh reached a settlement Sunday with a convenience store accused of selling him alcohol before the incident, according to multiple reports.
Mallory Beach died in February 2019 when she was thrown from a boat owned by prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh, The Greenville News and WCIV reported. Witnesses told investigators that Paul Murdaugh was driving when the boat hit a bridge piling in Beaufort County, according to the news station
Following the crash, Beach’s family sued Greg Parker and his Parker’s Kitchen convenience store company, accusing them of negligence, WCIV reported. An attorney for the Beach family, Mark Tinsley, told WJCL that Paul Murdaugh was underage when he bought alcohol at a Parker’s convenience store using his older brother’s driver’s license. Tinsley accused the clerk of failing to do her due diligence when checking Paul Murdaugh’s ID.
Attorneys for Parker denied that the convenience store was liable for Beach’s death, arguing that those on the boat knew that Paul Murdaugh was too drunk to drive on the night of the crash and that they had several opportunities to get off the boat, according to WCIV.
Tinsley told the News that the settlement reached Sunday night “wasn’t about the money” for the Beach family but was instead aimed at making people who sell alcohol “take their responsibility seriously and keep it out of the hands of minors.”
“The Beach family didn’t want this settlement confidential because they want other ‘Greg Parker’s’ to know, that if you sell alcohol illegally, you will be held accountable,” he said.
In a statement obtained by WJCL, a lawyer for Parker’s said the Beach family attorney used South Carolina law “to make Parker’s pay for a verdict intended to punish the Murdaughs.”
“Given the outsized publicity this case has received, being tethered to a convicted murderer all but ensured Parker’s would not receive a fair trial,” attorney PK Shere said. “We sincerely hope that all involved parties will find some measure of closure.”
Authorities charged Paul Murdaugh after the 2019 boat crash, though the charges were dropped after he and his mother, Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, were found dead at the Murdaugh family home in Colleton County in June 2021.
A jury convicted Alex Murdaugh of killing his wife and son in March. He was sentenced to serve two consecutive life sentences.
The Beach family has also sued Alex Murdaugh for wrongful death, claiming that he and his wife knowingly allowed Paul Murdaugh to operate the family’s boat while drunk and that they supported his underage drinking for years. Tinsley told WCIV that Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys were aware of settlement discussions.
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