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Alex Murdaugh named in 2 new lawsuits related to fatal boat crash

Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 4:55 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2022 at 6:36 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Attorney Alex Murdaugh is one of several named in a pair of new lawsuits related to a fatal 2019 boat crash involving Murdaugh’s slain son, Paul.

The suits also name Murdaugh’s surviving son, Buster; the estates of Maggie Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh’s slain wife and Paul Murdaugh; and Parker’s Corporation.

Paul Murdaugh was charged in the death but those charges were dropped after he and his mother, Maggie, were found shot to death at the family’s Colleton County property on June 7, 2021.

They were filed Tuesday by Miley Altman and Morgan Doughty, who both state they were in the boat driven by Paul Murdaugh on or about Feb. 23, 2019. The suits allege Murdaugh was operating the boat in Archer’s Creek with several passengers aboard while he was intoxicated and crashed into a bridge.

Another passenger on the boat at the time of the crash, 19-year-old Mallory Beach, was killed in the crash, authorities said.

Doughty’s suit states she suffered injuries to her hand, finger and other parts of her body as well as permanent scarring and disfigurement.

Altman’s suit states she suffered injuries to her arm and other parts of her body and permanent injuries.

From left: Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh pose for a family photo.
From left: Buster, Maggie, Paul and Alex Murdaugh pose for a family photo.(FOX Carolina News)

Lawsuits blame Murdaugh family members for allowing illegal purchase of alcohol

The lawsuits claim that Alex and Maggie Murdaugh “knowingly and willfully” allowed Paul Murdaugh, who was under the age of 21, to use his older brother’s driver’s license to purchase and consume alcohol and failed to supervise their son when they “knew or should have known that Paul Murdaugh was using another’s license to purchase and consume alcohol” as well as providing a credit card for the illegal purchase of alcohol.

It also alleges they allowed their underage son to use their boat when they either knew or should have known he was drinking and driving and drinking to excess, which created a significant risk of harm.

The suit also claims Maggie Murdaugh failed to take action to stop Paul Murdaugh from operating the boat “after she learned that [he] was intoxicated during their telephone conversation some two hours prior to the crash.”

The suits allege Buster Murdaugh “knowingly and willfully” provided Paul with his driver’s license so Paul could purchase and consume alcohol, obtained a duplicate ID to allow for that purchase, misrepresented facts to the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain the duplicate license, and failed to return his old license to the DMV.

Court documents allege Paul Murdaugh failed to maintain proper control of the boat, failed to take evasive action to avoid the crash, was traveling too fast for conditions, operated a boat while under the influence of alcohol, and operated the boat in a “reckless and unsafe manner” and “in utter disregard for the safety of others.” The suits also allege he refused to stop at the passengers’ request so they could safely get off the boat.

The suits claim Parker’s made an illegal sale of alcohol to Paul Murdaugh, who was using his brother’s driver’s license in order to make the purchase. The suits also claim the business was negligent in “failing to consider the volume of alcohol purchased by Paul Murdaugh in deciding to make the sale to him,” “failing to verify that the identification used by Paul Murdaugh matched the name on the credit card he used to pay for the alcohol,” and “failing to verify the composition of the license used by Paul Murdaught matched him.”

Altman and Doughty are seeking actual and punitive damages, costs and attorney fees, court documents state.

Parker’s has not yet responded to a request for comment on the new lawsuits.

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