HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – The family of a South Carolina teenager who died in a boating accident involving a member of the Murdaugh family says the owner of a convenience store chain is using smear tactics to force them to drop from a wrongful death lawsuit.
Mallory Beach died in 2019 when she was thrown from a boat that hit a piling in Archer’s Creek. The 19-year-old’s body was found seven days later.
Paul Murdaugh was charged with two counts of boating under the influence causing bodily injury and one count of BUI involving death in connection with Beach’s death. He had pleaded not guilty, however, the charges were dropped by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office following Murdaugh’s death.
Murdaugh was only 19 at the time of the crash and reportedly used his older brother’s ID to purchase alcohol from a Parker’s convenience store.
Now, Beach’s family says Parker’s is trying to get them to drop the suit by smearing their name on social media.
In all, eight people and businesses are named in the complaint, which details an “intent and ulterior motive to harm the family” and affects the civil lawsuit Beach’s family have filed against Parker’s.
The lawsuit says Parker’s and their attorneys tried to launch a social media campaign to invade the family’s privacy and misappropriate their images to inflict severe emotional distress and diminish their resolve to prosecute Parkers for causing Beach’s death.
The suit claims the company even allegedly hired social media “knife fighters,” private investigations services group, to do the work.
In addition, the family says confidential video from the civil case was sold or given to documentarian Vicky Ward. Some of that video as well as pictures of Beach after her death were used in a since-deleted trailer for the documentary.
The Beach family says Ward claimed Parker’s owner Greg Parker and his law firm “had an agenda” and she has “nothing to do with them other than having their stuff.”
Parker’s has not filed any response to the Beach family’s claims.
Beach’s family is still suing Alex Murdaugh, his son Buster, and Parkers for wrongful death in connection with Mallory’s death.
That original suit, filed in 2019, still has no trial date.