Breaking: The odd circumstances surrounding the sudden death of Brittany Murphy followed by the sudden death of her grieving husband Simon Monjack have just gotten even more bizarre.
Murphy died at 32 two years ago, and in death, was the subject of many rumors about anorexia, drug use, doctor shopping and a bevy of other lurid accusations. After her death, the off-puttingly close relationship between her mother and Monjack also set tongues wagging, even though their visible grief at Murphy’s untimely and unexpected passing was very saddening indeed.
Murphy was later vindicated, albeit quietly, as it turned out her passing was not due to any illicit behaviors but rather the somewhat common ailment pneumonia. But the whole story became a bit odder and a bit more sad when mom Sharon was left entirely alone after Monjack- also in his thirties and relatively healthy- succumbed to the same often treatable illness, in the same bedroom of the same home- a house Murphy spoke frequently of leaving because she felt it was bad luck.
Allegations of a toxic mold problem at the Los Angeles home are not new, but Murphy’s mother initially dismissed the possibility that toxic mold was a factor in the deaths of her daughter and son-in-law. It’s not clear what changed the elder Murphy’s mind, but a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court indicates that she now believes the home’s alleged mold problem is what caused the deaths of Murphy and Monjack.
Murphy is suing the lawyers who represented her while Brittany was still alive, alleging that they did not inform her she could sue for wrongful death. The Hollywood Reporter explains:
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 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.”
Murphy eventually fled the residence to stay in a hotel, and no longer owns the property.