Murdaughs

Murdaugh Saga: Satterfield Attorneys Seek To Disavow Claim In Federal Insurance Case

“Alex Murdaugh needs to answer alone for the money he stole …”

Attorneys for the heirs of the late Murdaugh family housekeeper Gloria Satterfield took a swing at convicted South Carolina killer Alex Murdaugh and his defense attorneys in a new filing released on Thursday (August 3, 2023).

As we reported last week, Murdaugh attorneys Phillip Barber and Jim Griffin filed a motion last Friday (July 28, 2023). That motion sought to add the Satterfield family to a federal lawsuit filed by one of the insurance companies defrauded by Murdaugh in connection with Satterfield’s death.

Satterfield passed away at Trident Medical Center in North Charleston, S.C. on February 26, 2018 – more than three weeks after allegedly tripping and falling off the front porch of the Murdaugh family’s former hunting property, known locally as Moselle. Murdaugh used her death to rob a pair of insurance companies of several million dollars, according to state and federal prosecutors – and according to his own belated admissions.

At the time of Gloria Satterfield’s fall, Alex Murdaugh had insurance policies with Lloyd’s of London – which held his “underlying insurance” policy for $505,000 – and Nautilus, which held his “extra” or “umbrella” policy for $5 million.

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First, to clear up some confusion – and a mistake – from our initial report: The Murdaugh attorneys, not lawyers for Nautilus, are the ones seeking to have the Satterfields added to the case. Our original report has been updated to reflect that error.

The Nautilus attorneys filed a motion seeking permission to amend their pleadings. It is the Murdaugh legal team seeking to add the Satterfields as parties to the lawsuit – and in doing so make them potentially liable for the repayment of the insurance company’s losses.

As for Nautilus, the company does want to amend its original complaint based on information that has come to light since it was filed on April 22, 2022.

Here’s what the amended Nautilus complaint says:

“Nautilus requests this court declare the rights and obligations of the parties arising out of the irregularities regarding the coverage and the claim. Nautilus further requests an award of actual damages, treble damages, punitive damages, attorneys fees, prejudgment interest, and any additional relief that is just and proper based on the facts as they shall be established during these proceedings.”

While the door has been opened by the Murdaugh defense team, as of this writing Nautilus has made no direct plea to add the Satterfields to the lawsuit.    

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RELATED | FLURRY OF FILINGS COULD CHANGE COMPOSITION OF FRAUD CAUSE

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Accordingly, when Satterfield attorneys Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter filed a motion in the case on August 3, 2023, the language was aimed at Murdaugh’s attorneys and their motion to enjoin.

“The Satterfields claim no interest in this litigation,” the filing stated. “In fact, the Satterfields are at a loss in understanding what theoretical interest of theirs that they could claim. Their disputes with Murdaugh have been litigated to conclusion in the form of a Confession of Judgment in favor of the Satterfields in the amount of $4.3 million.”

Of course, our audience will recall that confession of judgment – and the circumstances surrounding it – remain at the center of an ongoing controversy.

A release accompanying the Satterfield filing accused Murdaugh and his attorneys of engaging in a “continued attempt to victimize them and divert the attention away from Murdaugh’s habitual criminality.”

“Alex Murdaugh needs to answer alone for the money he stole from Nautilus Insurance Company that was to be paid to Gloria’s sons,” the statement attributed to Bland and Richter noted. “It continues to be unfair and a cost burden that Murdaugh imposes on these two fine sons in his attempts to escape culpability and reimbursement for his theft. Time for Mr. Murdaugh to pay the piper. We look forward to arguing this matter when the motion’s hearing is scheduled.”

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THE FILING …

(Via: U.S. District Court)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Callie Lyons (Provided)

Callie Lyons is a journalist, researcher, and author whose investigative work can be found in media outlets, publications, and documentaries all over the world – most recently in the Parisian newspaper Le Monde and a German documentary for ProSieben. Lyons also appears in Citizen Sleuth – a 2023 documentary exploring the genre of true crime.

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