reports Brittany's mother Sharon Murphy claims the people who built the house are to blame for the mold that caused their illnesses.In a new lawsuit, Sharon alleges she was misled by her lawyers and tricked into giving up her rights to sue the builders for wrongful death., Murphy's mother says her lawyers convinced her to accept a settlement offer for the construction problems in January, but they didn't explain that the settlement included a stipulation so that she would never be able to sue the builders for their alleged role in her daughter's death.
The suit by Sharon Murphy in Los Angeles Superior Court comes nearly two years after the Dec.
20, 2009 death of Brittany Murphy, which was followed by the May 2010 death of Brittany's husband Simon Monjack.
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.
PHOTOS: Remembering Brittany Murphy In fact, sources tell that while the issue of toxic mold had come up previously, Sharon Murphy did not believe at the time her 32-year-old daughter or 39-year-old son-in-law died that mold was a cause of death.
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. PHOTOS: Hollywood's Notable Deaths This all took place during a period when Sharon Murphy was understandably upset about what had happened to her daughter and son-in-law.
Winter told 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. 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.” Sharon and Brittany Murphy had purchased the five-bedroom home from singer Britney Spears in June 2003 for .85 million.Spears for a time lived there with Justin Timberlake until their relationship ended. Cohen and Michael Marzban, who represent Sharon Murphy, declined to comment on the litigation.A call to David Libo of the Steiner & Libo firm was not returned.