Just happened across an article from The Hollywood Reporter, Dec 19 2011.
Here's some excerpts:
"The mother of Brittany Murphy has filed a lawsuit against the attorneys that represented her in a suit against the builders of the home where the
actress died, claiming the lawyers never told her about a possible wrongful death suit due to mold in the house.
Sharon Murphy apparently did not become convinced that toxic mold was a cause in the death of her daughter and son-in-law until this past summer, when
she was in the process of selling the house in the Hollywood Hills.
According to Ed Winter, assistant chief coroner of Los Angeles County, the coroner's office specifically looked for evidence of mold during the
autopsies of both Murphy and Monjack and did not find any. Winter told THR on Monday that at the time of Monjack’s death, Sharon Murphy told him she
did not believe mold was the cause and she would not permit an inspection of the house by the L.A. health department as the coroner had requested.
In a complaint filed Monday, Sharon Murphy charges the firm of Steiner & Libo with legal malpractice, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty
for not properly informing her that in January 2011 -- when she accepted the final settlement of that earlier lawsuit -- she was giving up her right
to sue for the wrongful death of her daughter due to the presence of mold in the 13-year-old, 8,000-square-foot-home.
The coroner had found that pneumonia was one of the causes of their deaths.
The suit says that the law firm that was first hired in early 2009 “should have known that Brittany and Simon had died and that their deaths were
the result of complications from conditions associated with the subject property,“ the suit alleges. The law firm “had a duty to advise and/or
inform (Sharon Murphy) that she may have had a wrongful death claim.”
After Brittany married Monjack in 2007, the three resided in the big house together. Monjack remained in the house with Sharon Murphy after his
wife’s sudden death from what the coroner ruled was pneumonia, anemia and an excess of prescription drugs. Monjack’s death five months later was
ruled to have been caused by pneumonia and anemia.
The suit against the builder and others involved in the construction and later re-construction of the house had been filed in 2006 in the name of
Brittany Murphy’s corporation, The Nina Bow Trust. In early 2009, apparently at the suggestion of Monjack, they had changed lawyers, hiring the firm
of Steiner & Libo. The attorney who primarily represented them was David Libo.
Sometime shortly before Monjack’s sudden death, an out of court settlement was reached in the suit with the builder and various construction
entities. That suit was finalized and a check for $600,000 was delivered to Sharon Murphy in January 2010, according to attorney Michael T.
Montgomery, who represented Elliott Horitch, the original builder of the house.
Also in January 2010, TMZ reported that Sharon Murphy was facing a possible foreclosure on the property. After negotiations, there was no foreclosure
action. In July, the property was sold for $2.7 million, according to a report filed with Los Angeles County.
In the final weeks she owned the house, Sharon Murphy moved to a hotel because of her concern about the mold problem. She has since moved to another
So why would Sharon refuse to allow health inspectors to test the house for mold? Why were they suing the builder and others involved with the
construction and reconstruction of the house starting in 2006, 3 years before Brittany's death? And all Sharon ends up with is a settlement for
$600,000? Doesn't seem like much considering the house was purchased by Brittany for $3.85 million. What was the 600k problem?