Radio legend’s family says Jean Kasem’s actions led to his 2014 death
Casey Kasem’s children and brother are suing his widow, Jean Kasem, for wrongful death and elder abuse.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court accuses Jean of inflicting emotional distress on Kasem’s children from a previous marriage by restricting access to their father before his death in 2014.
“Casey’s early death occurred as a direct and proximate result of Jean’s neglect and physical abuse of Casey,” the lawsuit states.
The radio legend died on June 15, 2014, in Gig Harbor, Washington, at age 82. He was suffering from a form of dementia and a severe bedsore at the time of his death.
Kerri, Julie and Michael Kasem are joined in the lawsuit by their uncle, Mouner. The family members are seeking more than $250,000, although a jury would have to decide any damage award.
Earlier this year, prosecutors declined to charge Jean Kasem with elder abuse, a decision that Kerri Kasem said led to her family filing the civil case.
“Our family was devastated by the District Attorney’s decision not to prosecute Jean Kasem for the horrible abuse suffered by my father,” Kerri Kasem said in a statement issued to TheWrap Wednesday. “It will now be up to a civil jury to determine that Jean should be responsible for her actions. Elder abuse is a serious issue that we as a society cannot turn a blind eye to.”
The family claims that the “American Top 40” host’s health was stable when Jean took him on a seven day journey from Santa Monica, California, to Washington state but when they returned, he had a massive bed sore that was deeply infected, according to legal documents obtained by TheWrap.
The 28-page lawsuit claims that Kasem’s death resulted from a staph infection, UTI and sepsis.
It also states that in the months before Kasem’s death, his wife repeatedly left him in various hospitals for days, despite the fact that he was ready to be discharged. The lawsuit also details numerous confrontations about Kasem’s care, and it states that Jean transported his body to Norway where it was buried in an unmarked grave despite Kasem’s wishes to be buried at a cemetery in Los Angeles.
Casey and Jean were married in 1980. They have one daughter together, Liberty Jean.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.