$15M global settlement reached in Mallory Beach boat crash case

Posted at 9:29 AM, July 17, 2023


HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (Court TV) — The family of Mallory Beach has reached a $15M global settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Mark Tinsley, attorney for the Beach family, told Court TV the settlement with Parker’s Kitchen convenience store company was reached Sunday evening. The settlement does not include a separate civil conspiracy lawsuit involving the Beach family and Greg Parker personally.

archers creek bridge file photo

FILE – This file photo shows Archers Creek Bridge, the location where Paul Murdaugh crashed a boat. Mallory Beach, 19, died in the crash. (Court TV)

The global settlement means the case will no longer go to trial on August 14. It also means convicted double murderer Alex Murdaugh will no longer be deposed Tuesday, as previously reported.

The settlement was reached two days after a judge denied two motions filed by Parker’s attorneys; a motion to sever their case from Murdaugh’s and a motion to transfer venue.

RELATED: Judge denies two motions in Mallory Beach boat case ahead of trial

Beach, 19, was tossed from a boat driven by Paul Murdaugh, who hit a bridge in the early morning hours of February 24, 2019. Paul, 19, was reportedly drunk at the time. He had used his older brother’s ID to illegally purchase alcohol at Parker’s hours before the crash. Beach’s body was recovered seven days later. She had drowned.

Other survivors of the boat crash also reportedly reached a settlement Sunday, two of which confirmed amounts of $1M.

Following the announcement of the settlment, PK Shere, attorney for Parker’s Kitchens told Court TV’s Chanley Painter:

“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.”

Attorney Mark Tinsley also told Court TV:

“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.”

Court TV digital content producer Katie McLaughlin contributed to this report.