Suspended South Carolina lawyer Richard Alexander Murdaugh Sr., who already faces seven pending civil lawsuits, may soon face eight more.
Justin Bamberg, attorney for Bamberg, SC, representative of the Democratic state and civil rights advocate, has announced that he is representing seven of Murdaugh’s alleged victims and is in the process of preparing eight civil suits on behalf of those clients to be filed in Hampton County Court. common advocacy.
Clients represented by Bamberg include Thomas L. Moore, a former SC Highway Patrol officer injured in the line of duty, and Hakeem Pinckney, a deaf youth who became quadriplegic in a tragic car accident. in 2009. Murdaugh represented both clients in previous civil lawsuits.
“That would be eight multi-million dollar lawsuits,” Bamberg said. “If those responsible to my clients don’t resolve this voluntarily, I will let the people of Hampton County do it and trust them. And I am not filing these cases anywhere other than in Hampton County.”
Bamberg said he was in the process of gathering legal information and documents and the lawsuits had yet to be filed.
Bamberg told the Hampton County Guardian he plans to take legal action against Murdaugh, the Peters Murdaugh law firm Parker Eltzroth and Detrick, PA (PMPED), the Parker Law Group, Palmetto State Bank, the former Palmetto State Bank CEO Rusell Laffitte, and “anyone else I find was attached to the theft of these people.”
The Guardian has contacted all of these parties for comment. On Monday afternoon, G. Trenholm Walker and Thomas P. Gressette, Jr., legal advisers to Palmetto State Bank, issued the following statement “
“The Palmetto State Bank is deeply concerned about the troubling allegations that have been made about Mr. Pinckney’s settlement funds. The bank took immediate action under the direction of its board of directors to obtain all relevant facts and information. Palmetto State Bank intends to do what it can to right any wrongs that may have been done. ”
Murdaugh represented Hakeem Lynard Pinckney and his family in a lawsuit against a major tire company, Michelin North America, Inc., over the 2009 car crash. Hampton County court records show the case has was settled on October 7, 2011.
Pinckney, a student at SC School for the Deaf and Blind at the time of his accident, was seriously injured and became a quadriplegic. He later died, Bamberg said.
Laffitte was on the list of plaintiffs in this lawsuit, according to court documents.
Bamberg says he has documents indicating that Murdaugh used Laffitte and Palmetto State Bank as custodian for the Pinckney family, where the settlement funds were paid, but the payment never reached the Pinckneys.
“Alex Murdaugh convinced this boy’s mother to let Russell Laffitte, CEO of Palmetto State Bank, handle the money, and they stole the money,” Bamberg said. “I feel bad for these people.… These people have to be healed, and we’re going to sue anyone that we have to sue to heal people, and I don’t care who you are.”
“No one will ever convince me that all these rich and successful people, from the law firm and this bank, knew nothing,” he said. “You have people here who have always been untouchable, but now it is 2021. There is no reason for anyone to be afraid of anyone.”
Murdaugh was charged with financial crimes in the Thomas L. Moore case, but was not charged in the Pinckney case. Laffitte has also not been charged or charged with any crimes at this point.
On November 5, the state Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Council Office issued a subpoena to the Hampton County Estates Court indicating that an investigation was underway before the Attorneys Conduct Commission. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel is responsible for investigating complaints against lawyers and judges in South Carolina.
The subpoena requested all documents in which Laffitte and another bank employee, Chad Westendorf, were named as custodian or personal representative of an estate, among other documents.
Hampton County Estates Judge Sheila Odom confirmed Monday that her office responded to those requests within two business days.
On Monday, Jan Malinowski, chairman of the Palmetto State Bank, made the following statement to the Guardian:
“Palmetto State Bank has terminated Russell Laffitte’s employment for good, effective January 7, 2022. The bank and its board of directors remain fully committed to their customers, employees, shareholders and the communities Palmetto State Bank serves . “
Palmetto State Bank spokesperson Megan Paquin confirmed that Westendorf was still employed at the bank.
Bamberg provided the Guardian with copies of two checks which he said were issued by PMPED to the Palmetto State Bank, money which he said was stolen from the Pinckneys.
One of the checks was for $ 60,000 for a curator’s fee, the other check would have a settlement amount of just over $ 309,000, according to copies of the check provided by Bamberg.
Murdaugh is currently facing 51 criminal charges for financial crimes, as well as several civil lawsuits.