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Family of Murdaugh boat crash victim Mallory Beach reach $15 million out-of-court settlement

Family of Murdaugh boat crash victim Mallory Beach reach $15 million out-of-court settlement

Mallory Beach was one of a number of people on the boat being driven by Alex Murdaugh's son, Paul Murdaugh

The family of Mallory Beach, the 19-year-old who died on a boat owned by the Murdaugh family, have reached a $15 million settlement with a convenience store believed to be involved in the incident.

Beach had been on the boat as it was being driven by the late Paul Murdaugh; the son of lawyer Alex Murdaugh, who this year was found guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, and son.

The 19-year-old was one of several passengers taking part in the trip, which took place in South Carolina and saw number of people flung overboard when the boat crashed into a bridge near Parris Island in February, 2019.

Mallory Beach's body was found five miles from the crash site.
Facebook/ Mallory Beach

Beach's body wasn't found until eight days later, when she was discovered nearly five miles from the crash site.

Following the incident, Beach's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit as it emerged that Paul, who was 19 at the time, had allegedly used his mum's credit card and an ID belonging to his older brother to illegally purchase alcohol from a store owned by Parker's Corporation just hours before taking the boat out.

The family sued the convenience store owner Greg Parker and his company for contributing to Mallory's death, claiming an employee who sold the alcohol to Paul didn't do their due diligence to confirm his age and identity.

The wrongful death lawsuit also accused the Parker's company of negligence, arguing it had not properly trained the employee to verify customer ages when buying alcohol.

In response, Parker argued they were not responsible for the decisions of those on the boat, and that the employee did nothing wrong.

The Corporation has now agreed to settle the case out-of-court, with Beach family attorney Mark Tinsley confirming that Parker's will pay $15 million (£11.4m) to the family.

Paul Murdaugh is believed to have bought alcohol from Parker's Kitchen.

Speaking to ABC News 4, Tinsley said the money represents a level of accountability which will hopefully encourage others to become more serious about avoiding contributions to underage drinking.

"There's a certain amount of celebration and vindication," he said. "This settlement represents exoneration of everyone in the boat that night. Parker spent lot of time and energy condemning everyone involved. The sad part of it is we've always been willing to be reasonable."

PK Shere, attorney for Parker's, claimed the Corporation had no option but to settle after judges denied motions for the company to separate itself from the Murdaughs.

"[This case] 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," Shere said.

He added: "We sincerely hope that all involved parties will find some measure of closure."

Though the wrongful death case is settled, another lawsuit between the Beach family and the Parker company is still pending after the family accused the company of creating a smear campaign against them amid efforts to fight the initial lawsuit.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/ Mallory Beach/ South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

Topics: US News, Crime