HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – An appeals court on Thursday denied a request by representatives from Parker’s Kitchen to stand trial separately from members of the Murdaugh family for the 2019 death of Mallory Beach.
Beach was killed after she was thrown from a boat allegedly being driven by an angry and extremely drunk Paul Murdaugh.
A wrongful death suit filed by her family names several members of the Murdaugh family who allegedly enabled Paul’s behavior, as well as Parker’s Corporation CEO Gregory Parker, the owner of the convenience store from which an underaged Paul Murdaugh bought alcohol before the crash.
Parker had previously asked to filed a motion to sever, which was granted then reversed by Judge Daniel Hall.
The reversal prompted Parker to escalate the case to the court of appeals, which found Thursday that “an order denying bifurcation of the issues of liability and damages in a person injury case is not immediately appealable.”
The court went on to say “an order denying bifurcation of issues for trial simply does not strike to the heart of this Court’s traditional analysis of claims of denial of a mode of trial.”
As a result, Parker will be tried alongside the slew of other defendants in the case.
“We are obviously disappointed in today’s decision, but ultimately, we look forward to presenting our case at trial and exonerating Tajeeha Cohen and Parker’s,” PK Shere, attorney for Parker’s said.
The Beach has long opposed splitting the trials up, with attorney Mark Tinsley previously telling News 2 that the family “wants to hold everyone who contributed to the death of their daughter accountable in one trial.”
However, it is unclear when the Beach trial will move forward as Alex Murdaugh is set to stand trial for the murder of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh in January of 2023. Murdaugh’s lawyers have argued that they are unable to prepare for the murder trial if they are also spending time dealing with civil suits.