When Sharon Murphy told reporters her daughter “had a cold” when she died, people rolled their eyes. Then the coroner’s office ruled that the 32-year old really had died of pneumonia, complicated by anemia and prescription pills.
Then, when Monjack died, the coroner’s office began to suspect toxic mold as the culprit.
It would’ve been nice to have that theory confirmed sooner rather than later, but Sharon Murphy wouldn’t let the health department inside the house. Which is, I don’t know, very needlessly combative? It wasn’t until Brittany’s mother tried to sell the house—and eventually did, for $2.7 million—that she was like, “Oh, there’s toxic mold in here.” I mean, it was forever before Sharon Murphy moved out of the Killer House and into a hotel, even. Sheesh, lady.
Anyway. This timeline is so twisted, I’m having some trouble making sense of it myself, but here’s how I see it:
Way back in 2006, Brittany Murphy had, in fact, filed a lawsuit against all the dudes who built and then renovated the house. Which is just, wow. I have no idea what the point of the lawsuit was (lousy workmanship?), but anyway, Brittany Murphy evidently knew the house had some dangerous problems. In 2009, Mr. and Mrs. Monjack even sought out new lawyers, from a firm called Steiner & Libo. That’s how serious they were about this lawsuit.
After Brittany’s death, Monjack stupidly settled out-of-court with everyone involved in his house’s construction—I guess he felt like he was taking care of his wife’s unfinished business—but he died before the settlement was completely finalized. So Monjack’s stupid lawyers at stupid Steiner & Libo instead arranged to deliver the stupid settlement money to stupid Sharon Murphy. And that was that.
Guess what. That idiot woman Sharon Murphy accepted that check on her late son-in-law’s behalf, not thinking about the implications of toxic mold. Because who even thinks about toxic mold? Who would have ever guessed toxic mold?
And the instant she accepted that check from Monjack’s own lawyer, Sharon Murphy lost the ability to file that “wrongful death” lawsuit she’d been thinking about filing, which only could have been filed against the construction companies that had built/renovated/ruined the Killer House.
So to recap: five years ago, Brittany Murphy filed a lawsuit against the guys who built her house. As the law interprets it, Brittany kind of inadvertently filed her own “wrongful death” suit. Like, while she was still alive. And as soon as someone—anyone—was finally handed that settlement money, the whole thing was over. And the whole thing is over.
Sharon Murphy understandably feels like this is maybe the type of legal loophole Brittany and Simon’s lawyers should have mentioned before Sharon accepted her daughter and son-in-law’s settlement. Oops.
Now Brittany Murphy’s mother is suing her late son-in-law’s lawyers. Yep, just the lawyers.
And I get why she’s upset, I get why she’s disappointed, and she’s already been through so much, but at this point it’s just like, why bother, y’know?