Proposed settlement in Mallory Beach case faces objections
LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Mallory Beach family wishes to settle with Buster Murdaugh and the estate of Maggie Murdaugh, but it hasn’t come without objections.
Parker’s Kitchen and its owner, Greg Parker, both defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit, alongside Palmetto State bank voiced their opposition to the agreement at a hearing in Lexington County on Thursday.
David Williford, who represents both Parker and his business, argued that Buster Murdaugh was the initial enabler in the case and should not be dropped.
He argued that Buster gave his younger brother, Paul, his ID to purchase alcohol the night of the boat crash.
Mark Tinsley, who represents the Mallory Beach family, says Buster’s estate doesn’t amount to much and attorney’s fees have continued to rack up.
Lawyers including Billy Newsom, who represent the estate of Maggie Murdaugh, have already racked up a bill of $300,000.
“My fear was that when we got to the end of the question, where does Moselle belong? In the receiver’s estate, or in Maggie’s estate, there’s not going to be anything left,” Tinsley said. “We would rather receive a portion of something rather than nothing.”
Representative for Palmetto State Bank, Trenholm Walker, was also present at the hearing.
Though the bank is not a named party in the lawsuit, the Maggie Murdaugh estate still owes the financial institution $70,000 from the sale of her Edisto Beach house, money the bank wants paid before the estate pays anyone else.
As part of the proposed deal, the Beach estate offered to set aside $25,000 of their settlement money as a compromise to give the bank.
But the bank is objecting, fearing they will never get all the money they’re owed.
Attorney Joe McCulloch, who represents one of the teens on the boat Connor Cook, also voiced his approval of the settlement. In a separate lawsuit, Cook names Buster Murdaugh as a defendant for his liability in the boat crash. He agreed it’s the best for all involved.
The settlement agreement also sets aside $100,000 for Cook.
Judge Daniel Hall says he will have his decision by next Tuesday.
If the settlement is approved, it would be the first major conclusion to the case that has dragged on for four years.
A trial is still pending against both Alex Murdaugh and Parker’s Corporation in the case, though no official date has been set.
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