Three surviving children of former “American Top 40” host Casey Kasem joined with Kasem’s brother recently to file a wrongful death claim against the radio personality’s surviving wife, Jean, according to a recent CNN article. The lawsuit seeks damages based on its claims that Jean caused Kasem’s death by neglecting his needs and inflicting physical abuse, and that she also caused serious emotional distress to Kasem’s children by preventing them from seeing their father in his last days.
The lawsuit seeks $250,000 for pain and suffering and asks that a jury decide the damages if the court finds in the siblings’ favor. Jean Kasem argues that she provided constant medical care to her husband until his death.
In the months before Kasem’s passing, the family struggled to reconcile their own disputes over his final wishes, including who should be able to visit him and when, according to CNN. This debate included arguments between Kasem’s children, who said their father wanted to die peacefully at home surrounded by family, and Jean, who felt that the children were ceding their father’s care and making decisions that would lead to his premature death, CNN reported.
Kasem passed away in June of 2014 at some time after his wife moved his care from a nursing home in Santa Monica, California to Washington. Reports indicate that at his death, Kasem suffered from Lewy body disease, a form of dementia. They also note that Kasem had at least one serious pressure sore, or “bed sore,” at the time of his death.
Pressure sores are caused by lying or sitting for too long in one position. Patients who must stay in bed or need help to turn over or sit up are at particular risk. The sores can often be prevented with appropriate bedding, regular shifting of the patient to relieve pressure, and attention to hydration and nutrition, according to a study in the journal Drugs & Aging.
Although the Los Angeles County prosecutor’s office said that no criminal elder abuse charges could be proven in court, the wrongful death claim provides an opportunity for the surviving family to seek damages directly.
As Kasem’s case sadly illustrates, fighting between loved ones over the care of a family member or that family member’s estate can easily turn bitter and litigious. To protect your family and legacy, call the ILP team today for insight into your estate planning options at (800) 827-7784.