LOS ANGELES (CN) — A federal judge ruled that MetLife cannot be held liable for a dispute over which of Casey’s Kasem’s family members can collect a $2 million life insurance policy.
Radio personality and actor Casey Kasem died at 82 on June 15, 2014 in Gig Harbor, Wash. He had Alzheimer’s and Lewy body disorder, a rare, progressive degenerative disease.
MetLife then filed a complaint in interpleader against his widow, Jean Kasem, as trustee of the Casey Kasem Trust, and his four children, Kerri, Liberty, Michael and Julie Kasem.
MetLife asked the court to weigh in on the adverse claims of Jean Kasem and her four step-children.
The children filed a wrongful death and elder abuse lawsuit against Jean Kasem in November 2015, claiming she widow had played role in their father’s death by removing him from his medical facility and refusing to let them see him.
That case was removed from state court to Federal Court this month.
In an Oct. 8, 2014 letter to MetLife, the children’s attorney Martha Patterson wrote that Kasem had “suffered a stage three bed sore and dehydration under the care of Jean Kasem” and that his death was caused by the sores and dehydration.
Patterson wrote that if it were proven that the widow hastened his death she would be disinherited.
The District Attorney’s Office declined to pursue criminal charges against Jean Kasem last year.
In a 9-page unpublished order of Aug. 16, U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin discharged MetLife from liability and awarded it $20,140 in attorney fees. The order bars the Kasems from taking any legal action against the company about the death benefits.
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