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Casey Kasem’s children sue his widow, saying abuse led to his death

Matt Hamilton Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES – Three of Casey Kasem’s children and his brother are suing the late radio host’s widow, accusing her of neglecting his medical care and hastening his death in 2014.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Jean Kasem moved her husband between medical facilities, hospitals, a Las Vegas hotel room and a bungalow in Washington state, all in an effort to isolate him from his children and medical professionals.

In his final months, as his children from a first marriage and his wife battled in court over his care, the “American Top 40” host often went without a hospital bed, intravenous medicine, adequate nutrition and necessary hospitalization, the lawsuit alleges.

With such “grossly harmful mistreatment,” he developed at least four infections that led to his death on June 15, 2014 at age 82, according to the complaint.

“Casey’s early death occurred as a direct and proximate result of Jean’s neglect and physical abuse of Casey,” the lawsuit alleges.

Jean Kasem had her husband buried in Norway in an unmarked grave, according to the lawsuit. No autopsy was performed.

Jean Kasem’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

The children, who were born during Kasem’s first marriage to Linda Myers, and Kasem’s brother, Mouner Kasem, are seeking $250,000 in damages for elder abuse, the maximum allowed by law.

The suit also asks for a jury to award unspecified damages for wrongful death and infliction of distress, among other claims.

In the months leading up to Kasem’s death, Jean Kasem sparred in and out of court with her stepchildren over visitation and decision-making rights.

A missing person report was filed in Santa Monica by Kerri Kasem after she was granted control over her father’s medical care by a Los Angeles judge. When Kerri Kasem arrived at a Washington home with an ambulance to take her father away, Jean Kasem hurled hamburger meat at her stepdaughter.

Meanwhile, Jean Kasem’s former attorney accused Kerri Kasem of expediting her father’s death in a bid to cash out his $2 million insurance policy.

In May, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office found there was insufficient evidence to charge Jean Kasem with abuse or neglect, according to a prosecutor’s memo obtained by The Los Angeles Times.

Deputy District Attorney Belle M. Chen concluded that Jean Kasem had made “continuous efforts to ensure that Mr. Kasem was medically supervised.” The prosecutor noted that his enduring health problems made it nearly impossible to prove that neglect or abuse contributed to his death.

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