The family of Mallory Beach — who was killed when convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh‘s late son Paul crashed a motorboat into a Beaufort County, South Carolina, bridge piling — has reached a $15 million settlement in her wrongful death case with the convenience store company and owner who sold alcohol to Paul, who was under the legal age of 21 at the time.
“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 told CNN. He referred to Greg Parker and the Parker’s Kitchen Corporation, which owns a chain of convenience stores where Paul used his older brother Buster Murdaugh‘s ID to purchase beer despite being underage.
“The Beach family’s fight is not over,” family attorney Tabor Vaux told Fox News. “The [civil] conspiracy case is alive and active, and we look forward to exposing the corruption and the depths to which Parker’s was willing to harass and intimidate the Beaches, trying to diminish their resolve to hold those accountable who contributed to the preventable death of their daughter.”
PK Shere, the attorney for Parker’s, spoke out two days later on July 20, telling In Touch, “It is disappointing that the contents of settlement discussions have been disclosed Sunday night 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,” he said of Cohen, who was the working at Parker’s #55 and sold alcohol to an underaged Paul. “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 attorney continued,” 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.”
Paul was 19 years old when he took his father’s boat out on the Beaufort River on February 24, 2019, with five friends after initially purchasing several cases of beer with his fake ID. All six people aboard the boat were “grossly intoxicated” according to a Port Royal police report when the boat crashed, throwing Mallory, 19, into the water. Her body wasn’t found until a week later.
Mallory’s longtime boyfriend, Anthony Cook, filed a civil suit against Alex Murdaugh and Parker’s in December 2021, claiming the prominent Hampton County, South Carolina, attorney was aware his son drank and still let him use his boat. Cook also claimed Alex Murdaugh was aware Paul had Buster’s ID and used it to purchase alcohol.
Paul was charged with boating under the influence causing severe bodily injury and death in the boat crash. He pleaded not guilty but was murdered by his father, along with his mom Maggie, in June 2021 before the case went to trial.
Alex allegedly shot both his son and wife to death at the family’s Moselle property in Colleton County, South Carolina. A grand jury indicted Murdaugh on double murder charges in July 2022. The trial began with jury selection on January 23, 2023. The former personal injury lawyer took the stand in February and declared, “I didn’t shoot my wife or son,” as he broke down in tears while his lawyer asked him to describe the murder scene and finding his wife and son dead.
The jury deliberated for three hours on March 2, 2023, before finding Alex guilty of murdering his wife and son. Alex was also found guilty of two counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
“Let this be a warning: No matter who you are, if you break the law, the truth will come out and you will be brought to justice,” lead prosecutor Creighton Waters said at a news conference following the verdicts. The next day, Judge Clifton Newman sentenced Murdaugh to two consecutive life sentences.