SANTA MONICA—The widow of deceased TV actor and radio personality, Casey Kasem, filed a joint request with Casem’s three children Kerry, Julie, and Mike to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit on Monday, December 2 in Santa Monica Superior Court. The lawsuit filed by Kasem’s three children and Kasem’s brother, Mouner, against Kasem’s widow, Jean claimed that her neglect and physical abuse led to the actors death in 2014. The terms of the dismissal agreement have not been revealed by the family’s attorney.
The lawsuit filed by Kasem’s children after his death sought more than $250,000 in damages from Jean for elder abuse, and for inflicting emotional distress on the siblings when Jean allegedly restricted their access to their father prior to his death. In June 2014, a Los Angeles judge stripped Jean of decision-making authority over concerns about her choice to move Casey from a medical facility in Santa Monica where he was receiving around the clock care to a friend’s home in Washington state.
Jean contended at the time she moved her husband to protect his privacy. The judge granted Casey’s daughter, Kerri, expanded authority over her father’s care as outlined in his 2007 health directive, rather than in a 2011 directive that gave authority to Jean Kasem.
The wrongful death lawsuit against Jean stated that in the months prior to Casey’s death, she repeatedly left him in various hospitals for days despite the fact he was ready to be discharged. The lawsuit also claimed that Jean transported Casey’s body to Norway where it was buried in an unmarked grave despite Casey’s wishes to be buried at a cemetery in Los Angeles.
The lawsuit states that Kasen’s children and brother were seeking “fair recompense for the suffering they personally endured from witnessing the abuse and its painful and damaging physical effect on their beloved father and brother, and the gross treatment and disposition of Casey Kasem’s remains in an unmarked grave in a distant land unknown to him or his family.”
Los Angeles prosecutors in May 2015 rejected filing elder abuse charges against Jean, stating that they could not prove at trial that her actions led to Casey Kasem’s death. An explanation of the decision stated Jean ensured her husband was medically supervised during his transport from Santa Monica to Washington, which included a brief stay in Las Vegas.
When prosecutors declined to charge Jean with elder abuse in 2015, Kerri filed a civil case and stated that,”We would rather see her in jail than receive one dime. We don’t care about the money. We care about justice.”
The prosecutions decision stated that,”Because of Mr. Kasem’s longstanding profound health issues, this case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. The development of a bedsore by itself is insufficient evidence of abuse or neglect because of Mr. Kasem’s overall weakened health.”
In an interview with NBC in 2015, Kerri Kasem stated that her father was continuously kept from his family. “The doctor said, quote, ‘What was done to this man was inhumane,'” said Kerri. During the interview, Kerri indicated that she intended to “do something about” the “nightmare” she lived that “that so many families face.”
Kerri stated in her interview with NBC that despite her fathers divorce from her mother, he was always there for his kids even at the height of his career. In the interview, she accused Jean of isolating him in his ailing years, eventually taking him to a “tiny house near Bremerton despite his grave condition.”
Jean filed a countersuit against Casey’s three children in 2017 accusing them of wrongful death. “After an exhaustive forensic investigation following Casey’s death and autopsy, there was no other choice but to bring this lawsuit,” said Jean. Jean’s lawsuit accused Casey’s children of negligence and fraud.
Jean initiated a further complaint through a private investigator to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department alleging that seven members of Casey’s family acquired his signature on “power of attorney” documents while he was under the influence of medication that impaired his judgment. The complaint claimed that Kasem’s family made false allegations of elder abuse against her that included “multiple false calls for service” to the Los Angeles Adult Protective Services and the Los Angeles Police Department.
A re-investigation of Kasem’s cause of death was conducted by the Gig Harbor Police Department in Washington that cleared Kasem’s children of wrongdoing in November 2018.
The polices’ re-examination report stated that,”The Gig Harbor Police Department’s investigation revealed that the standard of care delivered to Mr. Kasem by medical personnel was appropriate and that any medical decisions were made by family members authorized to act on his behalf. There was no evidence of collusion between parties that would construe any part of this incident to be considered a homicide.”
Kerri Kasem released a statement through her spokesman on Tuesday, December 3 indicating that she was “distraught and heartbroken over her family and lawyers’ decision to force her into a settlement.”