HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Attorneys for the Satterfield family on Wednesday released a joint statement on the settlement reached October 1 by the Satterfield family and Cory Fleming, who initially represented the family in a 2018 wrongful death settlement.
Gloria Satterfield was the Murdaugh family housekeeper for over 20 years. She died after a reported trip and fall accident at the Murdaugh’s home in 2018. Her two sons hired Fleming at the recommendation of Alex Murdaugh, who suggested the sue him for insurance money. However, the Satterfields never received any part of the multi-million dollar settlement that was allegedly funneled into Murdaugh’s pocket.
As part of the new settlement, Fleming and his firm, Moss, Kuhn, and Fleming, P.A. have agreed to repay all legal fees and expenses to the Satterfield estate and “the firm’s malpractice insurance carrier is paying the full limits of its policy.”
According to the joint statement, “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.”
Fleming claims that he did not learn of the misallocation of funds until September of 2021.
Fleming claims that he would never knowingly misallocate client funds “or put a personal or professional relationship above his professional responsibilities.”
However, this is not the first time Murdaugh has recommended Fleming without disclosing their decades-long personal relationship. Fleming is also named in a suit against Murdaugh brought by Connor Cook, a passenger injured in the 2019 boat crash that killed Mallory Beach. Cook claims that Murdaugh orchestrated a plot to shift blame from his son, Paul, to Cook and claim that Cook was driving the boat at the time of the crash. In furtherance of that goal, according to Cook, Murdaugh recommended Fleming serve as Cook’s attorney. Cook said that during the time Fleming served as his attorney, he acted not in Cook’s best interest, but in the interest of the Murdaugh family.
Read the full statement below:
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Re: THE ESTATE OF GLORIA SATTERFIELD’S SETTLEMENT WITH ATTORNEY CORY FLEMING AND HIS LAW FIRM MOSS, KUHN & FLEMING, P.A.
On October 1, 2021, Cory Fleming and his law firm reached a settlement with the Estate of Gloria Satterfield and Ms. Satterfield’s sons under which Mr. 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 Mr. Fleming first learned that the settlement funds recovered for Ms. Satterfield’s sons and her estate had been stolen by Alex Murdaugh.
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.
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.
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.Bland Richter LLP