Judge: Casey Kasem's daughter in charge of care
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state judge on Friday said Casey Kasem's daughter, not her stepmother, is in charge of the medical care for the 82-year-old radio personality, who remains in critical condition with an infected bedsore.
However, all members of Kasem's family can visit him at the hospital — just not at the same time, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jennifer Forbes ruled.
Kasem has been receiving intravenous antibiotics and other care at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington, for a serious pressure ulcer he had when he was admitted on Sunday, according to a hospital statement.
Hospital spokesman Scott Thompson said Friday he would make no comment beyond the statement that was issued Thursday.
"Right now, Casey Kasem's health is declining and (he) won't be with us much longer," daughter Kerri Kasem's spokesman, Danny Deraney, said in a statement.
"I want to be there for my dad," Kerri Kasem said outside court Friday, KOMO-TV reported. "All of us. So if he does happen to open his eyes and look up, his entire family is there."
The former radio show host is suffering from a form of dementia called Lewy Body Disease, according to court records.
His daughter said she is considering putting her father in hospice care at St. Anthony, the Kitsap Sun reported.
Kasem gained fame with his radio music countdown shows, "American Top 40" and "Casey's Top 40." He also was the voice of Shaggy in the cartoon "Scooby Doo."
Wife Jean Kasem has been in control of her husband's medical care and has controlled access to him as his children from an earlier marriage contested who should make those decisions. The couple have been staying for about a month at the home of friends in Kitsap County, west of Seattle.
On May 20, while Kasem and his wife were in Washington state, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy expanded Kerri Kasem's power to determine her father's medical care and ordered Jean Kasem to allow her stepdaughter to see him. Murphy also temporarily suspended Jean Kasem's control over her husband's medical care.
Forbes held Friday that the California court order prevails, with Kerri Kasem working in consultation with doctors, the Kitsap Sun reported.
The judge ordered separate visitation times because of the animosity between Jean Kasem and her husband's children. Should the two sides meet, they must not speak to each other, she said.
The judge also found Jean Kasem in contempt of court for failing to allow Kerri Kasem to see her father the day the California court order was issued. However, the judge did not impose any sanctions.
"I don't want to rub salt in the wound," she said. "Mrs. Kasem is dealing with some of the worst times of her life. I feel for her."
As Casey Kasem was removed by his daughter last weekend from the home where he has been staying, Jean Kasem tossed a package of ground meat at her stepdaughter.
"If you need to know why I did it — when a person is about to pass away, there are always rabid dogs," Jean Kasem told reporters in response to a question after a court session Monday.