SC insurance coverage lawsuit cites Murdaugh 'depravity,' provides new particulars in housekeeper's demise [The State] – Insurance coverage Information Internet

August 17, 2022 By admin

A lawsuit by the insurance coverage firm that paid off an allegedly bogus declare by lawyer Alex Murdaugh after the demise of his housekeeper cites Murdaugh’s “depravity” and alleges new particulars of an alleged scheme he cooked up with one other lawyer and a banker.
“The scope of Murdaugh’s depravity is with out precedent in Western jurisprudence,” asserts the lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court docket by Nautilus Insurance coverage Firm.
Murdaugh had a $5 million umbrella insurance coverage coverage with Nautilus, in addition to not less than one different coverage with one other firm. In its lawsuit, Nautilus doesn’t say precisely how a lot it paid out to Murdaugh and his alleged associates for the demise of Murdaugh’s housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield. However court docket paperwork filed in state court docket say Murdaugh has agreed to signal a “confession of judgment” that he stole $4.3 million in insurance coverage proceeds from Satterfield’s heirs.
The lawsuit names as defendants Murdaugh; his longtime pal, lawyer Cory Fleming, and Chad Westendorf, a financial institution official at Palmetto State Financial institution, which performed a task within the alleged unlawful scheme to divert insurance coverage cash from the Satterfield heirs to Murdaugh and Fleming.
The brand new lawsuit additionally names Palmetto State Financial institution of Hampton and Fleming’s former legislation agency, Moss & Kuhn of Beaufort, as defendants.
Murdaugh and Fleming already face felony prices in that scheme to channel insurance coverage cash to them from Satterfield’s heirs. The fees have been detailed in March state grand jury indictments and roughly parallel the allegations in a civil lawsuit introduced final September by Satterfield’s heirs towards Murdaugh, Fleming and Westendorf.
In response to these already-publicized civil and felony allegations, Murdaugh hatched a plot after Satterfield died of accidents in a February 2018 trip-and-fall at his home. Murdaugh then contacted Satterfield’s two sons and urged them to press a authorized motion towards him, whereby insurance coverage firms would pay the sons a declare out of Murdaugh’s $5-plus million protection for his or her mom’s demise, in accordance with prices.
Murdaugh organized for the sons to make use of Fleming as their lawyer and Westendorf as their private consultant, to function their trustee and deal with the cash, in accordance with prices.
Finally, not less than two insurance coverage firms together with Nautilus paid off greater than $4 million within the case, the lion’s share of which was pocketed by Murdaugh, in accordance with felony and civil allegations. Some additionally went to Fleming and Westendorf, in accordance with allegations in civil and felony authorized actions.
Nautilus’ lawsuit repeats these allegations and asserts recent particulars:
Murdaugh pressured Nautilus to settle the declare, threatening a go well with for unhealthy religion towards Nautilus if it refused to pay coverage limits.
Murdaugh was abusive towards the Nautilus adjuster dealing with the declare and demanded Nautilus pay its full coverage limits, threatening that if the case towards him have been filed and went to trial, he would admit legal responsibility earlier than a jury — which might expose the insurance coverage firm to a excessive verdict towards it.
Fleming acquired $600,000 in charges for dealing with the case and disbursing the cash paid by Nautilus right into a checking account created and managed by Murdaugh within the title of “Forge.”
Instantly after Satterfield’s fall on Feb. 2, 2018, Murdaugh “rushed to the scene,” received there earlier than the EMS and started telling everybody that Satterfield had briefly regained consciousness, “throughout which period she acknowledged that Murdaugh’s canines had induced her to fall. This assertion was heard by nobody else and is contradicted by Ms. Satterfield’s later assertion to hospital workers that she had no thought what made her fall,” the lawsuit stated.
After Satterfield died, Murdaugh started to say that Satterfield was at his property that day, to not carry out work for Murdaugh and his household, however to gather a examine for work carried out for another person, thus avoiding a employee’s compensation protection.” That apparently would have resulted in slicing Murdaugh and his associates out of the loop in any future compensation funds.
Murdaugh additionally started to inform “a number of third events in Hampton County that he was answerable for Gloria Satterfield’s fall and supreme demise, an admission towards curiosity that each one however ensured that there may very well be no problem to (Murdaugh’s) legal responsibility, and securing his capability to drive Nautilus to contribute settlement funds that Murdaugh and the co-conspirators stole,” the lawsuit stated.
‘Successfully co-counsel’
Throughout the entire affair, Murdaugh and Fleming have been “successfully co-counsel and … unbeknownst to Nautilus, Murdaugh was not a bona fide insured in search of protection, however somewhat was coordinating the dealing with of the declare with Fleming–including sending correspondence associated to the case on Murdaugh’s agency’s letterhead and making ready and delivering disbursement sheets…,” the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit additionally alleged that Murdaugh, Fleming and Westendorf made “no effort” to alert the Satterfield heirs of the insurance coverage cash they acquired.
Each Murdaugh’s and Fleming’s legislation licenses have been suspended.
Neither Westendorf nor a lawyer representing him may very well be reached Wednesday afternoon for remark.
Jim Moss, a accomplice in Moss & Kuhn, stated Wednesday that he had not seen the lawsuit and couldn’t remark.
Jim Griffin, one in all Murdaugh’s attorneys, stated he has not seen the lawsuit and wasn’t in a position to remark.
Legal professionals for Nautilus are Jaan Rannik and Andrew Epting of Charleston, in accordance with court docket information.
Murdaugh has been within the Richland County Jail since final fall, dealing with a protracted checklist of prices towards him and unable to put up a $7 million bond. He has been known as an individual of curiosity within the murders June 7, 2021, of his spouse, Maggie, and their son, Paul, on the household’s rural Colleton County property.
(C)2022 The State. Go to Distributed by Tribune Content material Company, LLC.
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