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Attorney says he was misled by Alex Murdaugh in death settlement case for former housekeeper

The court documents say Gloria Satterfield’s heirs should’ve received about $2.8 million after...
The court documents say Gloria Satterfield’s heirs should’ve received about $2.8 million after other fees were deducted but they “were not paid a dime.”(WIS TV)
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 9:09 PM EDT
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HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - On Wednesday, the family of Gloria Satterfield, who was the Murdaugh family’s former housekeeper, and attorney Cory Fleming and his law firm Moss, Kuhn and Fleming, P.A. released a statement about settlements reached between them.

Fleming and his law firm reached a settlement with the Estate of Gloria Satterfield and Ms. Satterfield’s sons on Oct. 1. Under this settlement, Fleming and his law firm are personally repaying all legal fees and expenses they received, and the firm’s malpractice insurance carrier is paying the full limits of its policy. The settlement was reached less than one month after Fleming says he first learned that the settlement funds recovered for Ms. Satterfield’s sons and her estate had “been stolen by Alex Murdaugh.”

Murdaugh had referred Fleming to his late housekeeper’s children after she passed away.

The joint statement reads in part, “Mr. Fleming acknowledges that material mistakes were made by him at crucial times throughout this matter and sincerely apologizes to Ms. Satterfield’s sons for everything they have been through and that they did not receive their rightful monies from the death of their mother. Mr. Fleming was engaged to pursue claims on behalf of Ms. Satterfield’s estate. He pursued those claims, negotiated substantial settlements with Mr. Murdaugh’s insurance carriers and reduced his fee by fifty percent (50%) to increase the net recovery for Ms. Satterfield’s sons and her estate.”

It continues, “When it came time to disburse the settlement funds, Mr. Fleming trusted his close friend and colleague to deal with him truthfully and honorably, only to be misled and deceived in one of the worst possible ways for a lawyer: Alex Murdaugh lied to Mr. Fleming to steal client funds.”

Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield died from injuries she sustained after “a trip and fall accident,” according to a copy of the wrongful death settlement. Her death is currently being investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division after the Hampton County coroner found an inconsistency in the injuries she sustained, as well as information gathered by SLED during other investigations involving Alex Murdaugh.

Satterfield’s children said they never received the more than $4,000,000 settlement that was reached in the case.

The joint statement continues, “Mr. Fleming maintains he was not a willing participant in Mr. Murdaugh’s scheme but was used. Mr. Fleming states he would never knowingly jeopardize client funds or put a personal or professional relationship above his professional responsibilities. Until early-September 2021, he sincerely believed that the settlement funds had been properly disbursed. Since that time, Mr. Fleming and his law firm have made every effort to do the right thing by Ms. Satterfield and her sons, which is reflected in both their ongoing cooperation and the settlement reached on October 1, 2021. Mr. Fleming appreciates the professionalism shown by the attorneys representing the Satterfield heirs in uncovering the misappropriated funds and their intent on making the heirs whole. Mr. Fleming agrees to provide his continued cooperation in this matter.”

You can view a complete timeline of the Murdaugh case below:

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