Judge OKs $15M payout in Mallory Beach boat crash settlement

Posted at 12:38 PM, July 28, 2023 and last updated 9:11 AM, August 1, 2023

YORK, S.C. (AP) — A fatal boat crash believed to have spun the downfall of Alex Murdaugh has resulted in a $15 million settlement in a lawsuit against a convenience store that sold beer to the disgraced attorney’s underage son.

Paul Murdaugh's mugshot

Mugshot taking in the courthouse hallway of Paul Murdaugh (South Carolina Attorney General’ Office)

A judge on Thursday approved the deal between the victim’s family and Parker’s Kitchen, according to local media reports. An investigation revealed that a clerk for the Southern chain did not stop Paul Murdaugh from using his older brother’s ID to buy beer on the same February 2019 night that authorities said the 19-year-old steered a boat into a bridge in Beaufort County, South Carolina.

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

The wreck killed Mallory Beach, 19, and injured three others.

Parker’s Kitchen did not undertake liability for Beach’s death through the settlement. The Beach family has said they hope the high total will compel stores to seriously follow alcohol laws.

Paul Murdaugh faced charges of boating under the influence at the time of his death.

Alex Murdaugh is serving a life sentence without parole for the June 2021 killings of his wife, Maggie, and Paul, his youngest son. Prosecutors in this year’s double murder trial argued that Alex Murdaugh feared a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the boat crash would uncover the millions of dollars he had stolen from his clients and law firm.