HAMPTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lawyers representing the Satterfield Estate have filed a stipulation to dismiss charges against the banker who represented the estate during a multi-million dollar wrongful death settlement with Alex Murdaugh, carried out without the knowledge of the rightful heirs.
In the filing, counsel for plaintiffs stipulate “that any and all claims against Chad Westendorf only shall be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.”
Westendorf, who was associated with Palmetto State Bank and had worked closely with Murdaugh and Fleming before, was chosen to represent the sons of Gloria Satterfield in the wrongful death suit.
Satterfield was the Murdaugh family housekeeper for over 20 years before she allegedly tripped and fell to her death at the Murdaugh’s home in 2018. Alex Murdaugh told Satterfield’s sons that he would take care of them, and recommended his longtime friend Cory Fleming to represent them in suing him for insurance money.
Fleming ultimately recommended appointing Westendorf as the representative of the estate, claiming that the negotiations would require more knowledge than the sons had.
Murdaugh, Westendorf, and Fleming secured a multi-million dollar payout from two of Murdaugh’s insurance providers. Westendorf was responsible for disbursing the money, however none of it went to Satterfield’s sons.
Instead, Fleming wrote multiple checks to ‘Forge,’ a shell account Murdaugh created to funnel stolen money.
A settlement between Fleming and the Satterfield Estate was previously reached, with Fleming vowing to pay back all money owed and claiming he had no knowledge of Murdaugh’s alleged scheme to claim the money for himself.
Murdaugh was arrested Thursday on two felony charges of obtaining property through false pretenses.
Despite dismissing Westendorf personally from the lawsuit, Ronald Richter — an attorney for the Satterfield Estate — says that they plan to pursue charges against Palmetto State Bank “until the very end.”
Likewise, Richter said that they have “separately sought relief in the probate court from Mr. Westendorf for failing to account to the probate court accurately for the recovery of that money during the time that he was representing the Estate of Gloria Satterfield.”