Wrongful death lawsuit of Mallory Beach reaches $15 million settlement

Published: Jul. 16, 2023 at 7:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2023 at 10:54 AM EDT
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HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C (WTOC) - Parker’s Corporation has settled with the family of Mallory Beach for $15 million in a wrongful death lawsuit, according to an attorney for the Beach family.

Mallory Beach was killed in a 2019 boat wreck in Beaufort County. At the time, the boat was being driven by Paul Murdaugh, the since-murdered son of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh.

Investigators say Surveillance video shows Paul buying alcohol with his brother, Buster’s license the night of the crash at a Parker’s convenience store.

Tabor Vaux, an attorney for the Beach family, says other occupants on the boat also settled claims against Parker’s, including Morgan Dowdy, Miley Altman, Conor Cook, and Anthony Cook.

The trial for the civil case was originally scheduled for August 14th, that has now been cancelled.

The attorney’s for Parkers released a statement below:

“It is disappointing that the contents of settlement discussions have been disclosed today counter to the mediation agreement that was signed by all who participated. Recently, the court ruled that Parker’s would be tethered to Alex Murdaugh at the upcoming trial. The fact remains that Tajeeha Cohen made a legal and valid sale, as was determined by SLED. This case was never about that legal and valid sale nor was it about the repeated bad decisions that these young adults made that night. For Mark Tinsley, it was all about using the Murdaughs’ bad actions and the unfair law of joint and several liability in South Carolina 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. The application of the joint and several liability law in South Carolina meant that, if Parker’s was found even 1% at fault, it would have paid for the entirety of any verdict rendered against the Murdaugh family. The unfairness of that caused Parker’s insurance carriers to resolve these suits to avoid paying the likely award intended to punish Alex Murdaugh. This marks the conclusion of all the boat crash cases. We sincerely hope that all involved parties will find some measure of closure.”

The Beach family’s attorney released a statement, as well:

“The settlements today demonstrate, to use Parker’s word, an “exoneration” of the young people in the boat that Parker so readily blames. Underage drinking is a serious and costly problem. Blaming the kids won’t solve the problem. The people who enable underage drinking must be stopped. It’s shameful that nearly 2 people per week die in this state alone as a result of underage drinking. The Beach family believes this settlement will serve as a warning to all the Parker’s of the world, who might make an illegal sale of alcohol to a minor, that they will be held to account for their wrongful conduct if they do. These settlements won’t bring Mallory back, but we hope they do save someone else’s son or daughter.”

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