In 2019, 19-year-old Mallory Beach died in a boating accident in Beaufort County, South Carolina when authorities said Paul Murdaugh had been at the wheel. This week, Beach’s family and crash survivors have reached a $15 million-dollar settlement with Parker’s Kitchen, the convenience store that sold alcohol to an underage Murdaugh the night he drove the boat, the New York Times reported.
“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,” attorney Mark Tinsley, the lawyer for Beach’s family, told CNN. “These settlements won’t bring Mallory back, but we hope they do save someone else’s son or daughter.”
The proposed settlement, which still awaits approval by a judge, involves the prominent Murdaugh family of the S.C. Lowcountry. The boat, was owned by Paul’s father, Alex Murdaugh, who was convicted of murdering Paul and his mother in March.
Mallory’s mother filed the lawsuit against members of the Murdaugh family and the business that sold alcohol to an underage Paul, who was using his older brother’s ID. According to the Beach family’s complaint, Paul had become “grossly intoxicated” when he was operating the boat that crashed into a bridge near Archer’s Creek, ejecting Mallory and leading to her death on Feb. 23, 2019.
Tinsley said her parents wanted to avoid giving Alex Murdaugh, who was scheduled to give a deposition in the case, a platform to tell his own version of events.
“He’s a broken person,” said Tinsley. “And to give him a chance to spin whatever lie he’s going to tell next, they didn’t want to be a part of that.”
Alex was found guilty on two counts of murder at his trial at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C. The disbarred lawyer was convicted of killing his wife Maggie, 52, and Paul, 22, on the family’s hunting compound in June 2021.