Parker’s Corporation denies negligence in wrongful death suit

One of the main defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit that killed a teenager in 2019 in a boat crash is now denying all responsibility.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 8:17 PM EDT
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HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - One of the main defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit relating to a teenager killed in 2019 in a boat crash is now denying all responsibility.

According to court documents filed Monday, attorneys for Parker’s Corporation say all six teenagers on the boat the night of Feb. 23, 2019 planned to drink, and they planned to get drunk. They say Parker’s had no part in the “plan hatched prior to the consumption of any alcohol.” They say it was the plan of those six teenagers that ultimately led to Mallory Beach’s death, not Parker’s.

Beach was thrown from the boat in that crash near Parris Island in Beaufort County. Beach’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit that named Alex Murdaugh’s now-deceased son Paul as the driver of the boat at the time of the crash. Paul was facing a civil lawsuit before he was killed by his father in June 2021.

Paul, who was 19 at the time, was seen on security camera footage buying alcohol at a Parker’s convenience store the night of the crash. The lawsuit filed by Beach’s family against Parker’s and several members of the Murdaugh family states that Parker’s knowingly sold alcohol to a minor and both the corporation and the cashier need to be held accountable.

“Tragic events occur, and they are most unfortunate. But we must never turn away from the truth. The truth is that Parker’s was not negligent because there is no evidence to support the position that Parker’s knowingly sold alcohol to a minor,” attorneys say in the filing.

They say it was Paul’s older brother Buster’s valid South Carolina ID that he used to buy the alcohol.

The filing goes on to say Beach assumed the risks of getting on a boat with a drunk driver, who ultimately caused the accident and her tragic death. They say it was tragedy, but the cashier and Parker’s did not cause it.

The filing goes on with several exhibits saying Murdaugh had a history with abusing alcohol, and his parents knew about it.

The attorney representing the Beach Family, Mark Tinsley, confirmed with Live 5 there’s a hearing scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Lexington County.

It’s unclear whether that hearing will decide the fate of this motion.