COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Disgraced former Hampton County attorney and convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh is responding to a May 2022 lawsuit filed by his former insurance company claiming Murdaugh defrauded the company out of millions when he got a payout for the death of his former housekeeper.
Nautilus Insurance Company covered Murdaugh in 2018 when his housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, fell down the stairs at the family home. At the time, Murdaugh alleged she tripped over the family dog. She died in the hospital weeks later.
Murdaugh secured a $4 million wrongful death settlement from Nautilus which was supposed to go to Gloria’s sons. Instead, he embezzled the money using a shell account.
As he was on trial for the criminal case brought by Satterfield’s sons, Murdaugh successfully delayed the civil case brought by Nautilus. Following the settlement of the Satterfield case, Murdaugh is responding to allegations brought by Nautilus nearly one year later.
Nautilus claimed that the entire claim was fraudulent and should be paid back. Murdaugh admitted that certain aspects were fraudulent, but denied “the existence of any conspiracy to improperly cause Nautilus to pay a fraudulent claim.”
Murdaugh admitted that Satterfield was not tripped by a dog and that he made that portion up to secure the insurance payout. He also admitted that she was not working when she fell, but said “he does not recall, however, why she was there that day over five years ago.”
He conceded that his actions were “immoral, unethical, oppressive, and/or offensive to public policy,” but said it is “hyperbole to claim that stealing money from an insurance company is ‘depravity without precedent in Western jurisprudence,'” as Nautilus alleged.
Finally, Murdaugh noted that the Satterfield family has recovered over $7.5 million as a result of the wrongful death suit. He said that if Nautilus wants to be reimbursed, the Satterfields should be parties as well:
“If Nautilus never should have made any payment to the Satterfield estate and only
attempted to do so because it was the victim of fraud, then the parties in possession of a recovery of the money allegedly stolen from Nautilus are necessary parties to an action by Nautilus for recovery of that money because (a) the ‘court cannot accord complete relief among [the] existing parties’ in their absence, and (b) those persons and entities ‘claim an interest relating to the subject of this action’ and their absence will ‘leave [existing parties] subject to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent obligations because of that interest.'”
The case could go to trial by April of 2024.