Lawyers for Murdaugh housekeeper’s estate say they know where missing millions in settlement are
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - After the death of the long-time housekeeper for the Murdaugh family, Gloria Satterfield, the lawyers for her two children say the surviving family members never got the millions they are entitled to.
Ronnie Richter, a partner in the new law firm representing the Satterfield estate, says right before the wrongful death settlement for $505,000 was reached in December of 2018, Tony Satterfield was removed as the personal representative for his Mom’s estate.
According to Gloria Satterfield’s obituary, she died at the age of 57 on February 26, 2018 at Trident Medical Center. Satterfield died from injuries she sustained after “a trip and fall accident,” according to the wrongful death settlement.
The lawyers for Satterfield’s estate say she worked for the Murdaughs for more than 20 years. However, they now say Satterfield’s children feel taken advantage of by the family their mom knew well.
Richter says a representative with Palmetto State Bank, Chad Westendorf, was the one who was present to represent the Satterfield estate when the settlement was reached not her son. A move that Richter says would have been arranged by the Satterfield estate’s first lawyer, Cory Fleming.
In a lawsuit, Richter and his partner Eric Bland say Cory Fleming is a close friend of Alex Murdaugh.
“It’s very strange that [Alex Murdaugh] would hand-carry them to a lawyer that would come sue him,” Eric Bland told WIS.
Richter says Gloria’s son Tony didn’t know about the half a million-dollar settlement until he saw a report of it earlier this year after the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.
“We know where it did not go...we have some pretty good ideas of where it went but I’m not able to disclose where it went yet,” Richter said.
“Where we think it went stinks the hell”
But Richter says his clients lost out on a lot more than $505,000.
In May of 2019, Richter says another unfiled petition was prepared to raise the price of the settlement to a total of $4.3 million. Richter says a hearing appears to have been held on this unfiled petition but didn’t provide any details on how he knows about this unfiled petition or the hearing held on it.
Richter explained the increase as additional funds being recovered from another insurance provider and his clients were left out of the entire process. Richter calls all of this “highly unusual.”
He says when legal fees and out-of-pocket costs are removed from the total settlement, the Satterfield children are entitled to $2.7 million and haven’t seen a penny.
“They had been betrayed,” Richter said of his clients.
SLED did not respond when asked for a comment. A spokesperson for the Murdaughs declined to comment on earlier stories about the lawsuit filed by Bland and Richter.
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