The estate of former Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield has reached a settlement agreement with the lawyer and insurance company who negotiated a wrongful death suit with Alex Murdaugh on behalf of Satterfield’s children.
Eric Bland, the estate’s attorney, said the settlement was reached on Friday with attorney Cory Fleming and the insurance carrier involved in the lawsuit, WIS reported.
“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,” Bland said in a statement.
The original settlement said that Satterfield, 57, died on February 26, 2018, from injuries she sustained after “a trip and fall accident” at the Murdaugh’s home, as CrimeOnline previously reported. That settlement was negotiated by Fleming, Alex Murdaugh’s college roommate and godfather to Paul Murdaugh, his son. Murdaugh referred the Satterfields to Fleming.
Satterfield’s sons say they never received payment from the settlement, although Fleming’s firm was paid. Bland filed suit against Murdaugh, Fleming, and Fleming’s firm on September 15.
“Mr. Fleming stepped forward and did the right thing by the Estate,” Bland wrote. “Mr. Fleming and his law firm maintain, they — like others — were victims of Alex Murdaugh’s fraudulent scheme.”
Money schemes seem to be at the root of several legal cases against Murdaugh, who was fired by his law firm last month for alleged misappropriation of funds. The day after he was fired, Murdaugh called 911 and said he’d been shot in the head by an unknown assailant, but South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division investigators quickly charged that Murdaugh had hired a former client to kill him so his son Buster could claim a $10 million insurance payout.
Murdaugh claimed that a drug addiction led to all his problems and that it was exacerbated by the June 7 murders of his wife Maggie and son Paul. Paul had been awaiting trial on charges that he drunkenly drove his father’s boat into a bridge piling, throwing passenger Mallory Beach, 19, into the water. Her body was found a week later. Those charges were dropped after Paul’s death, but Alex and Buster Murdaugh are both facing a wrongful death suit filed by Beach’s mother, charging that they condoned and facilitated Paul’s alcohol purchases.
After he was arraigned on insurance fraud charges for the “suicide for hire” scheme last month, Murdaugh was released on his own recognizance to go into treatment.
Bland said that the insurance carrier involved in the original Satterfield lawsuit had agreed to pay the sons their full policy limit.
“The estate will continue pursuing other culpable parties who resist acceptance of responsibility for their part in this tragic matter,” Bland wrote.
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[Featured image: Alex Murdaugh/Police handout and Gloria Satterfield/Herndon and Sons Funeral Home]