The sons of a former housekeeper to prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh will receive a multi-million dollar settlement they were initially entitled from a lawsuit filed after the woman’s death in 2018, according to attorneys now representing the family.
The law firm of Bland Richter, LLP reached a settlement Friday with attorney, Corey Fleming, and the insurance carrier that initially handled litigation tied to the claims against Murdaugh for the death of Gloria Satterfield.
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The initial wrongful death lawsuit over Satterfield’s death was filed in 2018 and dismissed through a settlement in October 2020. The second civil conspiracy lawsuit was filed Sept. 15, claiming the family never received the financial payout they were owed.
“Mr. Fleming and his firm agreed that the Estate will be paid back all legal fees and expenses Mr. Fleming and his law firm received from the $4,300,000 they recovered for the Estate in connection with the claims asserted against Alex Murdaugh for the death of Gloria Satterfield. In addition, their malpractice insurance carrier agreed to pay to the Estate their full policy limits of insurance,” Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter said in a written statement.
Satterfield, 57, died Feb. 26, 2018 from injuries she suffered from what has been described as a “trip and fall” incident at the Murdaugh home. She had been the family’s housekeeper in Hampton County for more than two decades.
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The initial lawsuit states Murdaugh acknowledged Satterfield’s death was his fault and that he introduced her family to his “good friend, Corey Fleming, so that Fleming could assist the sons in filing legal claims against Murdaugh for the wrongful death of their mother, with the assistance of a banker friend, Chad Westendorf.”
At the time, Murdaugh assured the family he was “going to take care of the boys,” the wrongful death lawsuit states. A second lawsuit filed for civil conspiracy alleges that Satterfield’s children were deceived and that they never received any money from the settlement.
The civil conspiracy suit alleges that Tony Satterfield and Brian Harriott – Gloria Satterfield’s two sons – “first learned that money had been recovered from the death of their mother when it was reported in the press.”
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“Mr. Fleming and his law firm maintain, they – like others – were victims of Alex Murdaugh’s fraudulent scheme,” Bland and Richter wrote in the new statement. “The estate will continue pursuing other culpable parties who resist acceptance of responsibility for their part in this tragic matter.”
The legal matter comes amid an evolving saga centered on Murdaugh. The prominent attorney is tied to several state investigations including the shooting deaths of his wife and son, allegations that Murdaugh stole funds from his family’s law practice, drug addictions and a botched murder-for-hire plot to go after a $10 million life insurance policy.
Satterfield’s death, in light of these separate investigations, is now also being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division.
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Hampton County Coroner Angie Topper wrote a letter to SLED noting that “the manner of death was ruled ‘natural,’ which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident.”
Fleming did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Bluffton Today reporter Michael M. DeWitt, Jr. and USA TODAY Georgia reporter Abraham Kenmore contributed to this article.
Daniel J. Gross is an investigative watchdog reporter focusing on public safety and law enforcement for The Greenville News. Reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @danieljgross. Subscribe to The Greenville News at greenvillenews.com/subscribe.