Nearly 18 months after the death of radio legend Casey Kasem, the America’s Top 40 host’s children have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Kasem’s widow Jean Kasem. In the civil suit, filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Kasem’s three children and his brother accuse Jean Kasem of elder abuse and inflicting emotional distress on them, The Associated Press reports. In the months prior to Kasem’s death, his three children – all from a previous marriage – were restricted access from their father as he lay bedridden with dementia.
“Casey’s early death occurred as a direct and proximate result of Jean’s neglect and physical abuse of Casey,” the wrongful death suit read. The civil suit came after prosecutors declined to press criminal charges against Jean Kasem earlier in the year. “We would rather see her in jail than receive one dime. We don’t care about the money. We care about justice,” daughter Kerri Kasem told the AP. “What [Jean] did to my father is reprehensible. It’s disgusting. It’s horrific.” The lawsuit itself seeks at least $250,000 in damages, although a jury would determine the final amount if Jean Kasem was found guilty.
The 28-page civil lawsuit pinpoints the alleged negligent manner in which Jean Kasem cared for Casey in his final months, including letting him remain confined to hospitals long after he was ready to be discharged as well as relocating the radio host from a California medical facility to a friend’s home in Washington state as his condition worsened; his children filed a missing person report after Jean Kasem relocated Casey without telling anyone. The Kasem children also cited Jean’s decision to bury Kasem in an unmarked grave in Norway as an example of the emotional distress they’ve endured.
The lawsuit says Kasem’s brother and children are 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.”