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And, as Mark stated, the second child’s drowning at the family farm was “tragic in any number of ways, but among them financially.” As Mark explained in great detail, the tragedy (aside from the dead kid) was that just a week before the six-year-old boy drowned in the pool at Coosaw Plantation, his brother Billy, the family-appointed “managing member,” had allowed the liability insurance on the property to lapse.I had every expectation that we would have had liability insurance.
Long story short, she threatened several times to take me to court.According to the 79-page transcript (certain small portions of which are redacted) of a March 14, 2012, hearing in the Family Court of Charleston, South Carolina, the former S. governor and current congressman was found in contempt of court for violating the terms of the Final Order and Decree of Divorce of March 18, 2010, a court-approved agreement with his ex-wife.Jenny filed this particular court action — one of several she filed and continues to file, including the most recent one requiring Mark to appear in court on Monday — because she believed Mark had violated several terms of their agreement: He had repeatedly failed to pay his child support; he had failed to obtain liability insurance for the Sanford family “farm,” the Coosaw Plantation, where there was a pattern of children drowning on the property, resulting in wrongful death suits against various members of the Sanford family; and he had failed to abide by certain restrictions on what the Sanford children were and were not allowed to do while in Mark’s care at the Coosaw Plantation.It was the responsibility of the managing partner and I had presupposed, as did every other member of the — the — the family partnership, that he had taken care of this.While the Sanfords were fighting about whose responsibility it was to obtain the proper, court-ordered liability insurance in the event of any more accidents or fatalities, neither of them seemed particularly concerned about whose responsibility it was to prevent any more children from dying.It was for this very reason that Jenny once again sought the court’s assistance to enforce that part of the Sanfords’ agreement that “the property will be insured at a reasonable level to satisfy liability claims.” Jenny had agreed to Mark’s proposal that in lieu of a full cash payment, as ordered by the court — since he was so “squeezed” at the time of their divorce — she would accept a stake in the family farm.
But she had not anticipated what a financial risk that would be, even though both deaths had occurred prior to her acceptance of this arrangement.
and the Sanford Family Partnership, which owned the property.
According to the lawsuit, “children at the pool party were not properly supervised and the boy wasn’t given a lifejacket, although his parents had said he could not swim.” This was the second time a child had drowned on the property; the first incident occurred in 2002, when an eight-year-old girl drowned in the Sanfords’ “retaining pond” — a water-filled hole in the ground that Mark had dug because, according to previously leaked documents, he enjoyed “digging holes on the property with his hydraulic excavator to ‘unwind.'” That death resulted in a settlement for which the Sanfords paid “around $300,000” to the girl’s family.
The original divorce decree required, among other things, that Mark make regular payments of $5,000 for the cost of their son Marshall’s college tuition.
But, despite the court order, Mark didn’t think that was fair.
According to the testimony of both Mark and Jenny at the 2012 hearing, the real tragedy was that the family farm was not sufficiently (or, in fact, at all) insured for liability in case of tragic events, like the deaths of two children.