Dr. Donald Sharman said in a letter prepared on behalf of Kasem’s widow that her husband would have been better off returning home to Silverdale, Wash., rather than being kept at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor.
“It is my opinion that Casey’s condition deteriorated because of the emotional distress and the physical stress of transferring him from Silverdale to Gig Harbor, which is an approximate 30-minute ride and also due to the exposures he was subjected to in the hospital during the first 24-hours of observation at that facility,” Sharman wrote.
The letter was attached to court papers that lawyers for Jean Kasem filed last Friday, in which they outline her objections to a request for about $500,000 in fees and other costs submitted by attorneys and others associated with the establishment of a conservatorship over her husband before his death.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy named Kerri Kasem as her father’s temporary guardian in May. The former “American Top 40” host, who suffered from dementia and Lewy body disease, which has symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, was the subject of a vitriolic legal battle between his wife and her stepdaughter until his death at age 82.
Murphy has since removed himself from the case and has been replaced by Judge Lesley Green, who on Dec. 15 is scheduled to hear the motion that the requests for attorneys’ fees be granted and paid by Kasem’s estate.
In her court papers, Jean Kasem calls the fee requests “unjustified and unreasonable.” Her lawyers want a judge to reject the $103,000 requested by Kasem’s court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham. They allege in their court papers that rather than visit Kasem, he relied on “unsworn statements by Kerri’s attorneys and doctors and informed the court that a slow death from starvation and thirst was preferable.”
Jean Kasem’s lawyers also are asking that they be given four months so they can study whether the fee requests from the other lawyers are fair.
Kerri Kasem obtained a court order from a Washington judge directing that her father be taken from the Silverdale home to St. Anthony’s Hospital.
In his letter, Sharman said the admitting hospital physician said Kasem only needed to be kept for one to two days. He said Jean Kasem asked him to accompany her to the facility to pick him up and bring him back home.
However, the plans changed during a meeting that included one of Kerri Kasem’s attorneys, Sharman said.
“This meeting was interpreted by hospital staff as being disruptive and we were asked to leave,” Sharman wrote.
Kasem’s admission status was changed from “observation” to “inpatient” status and he was kept at St. Anthony’s Hospital until he died about two weeks later, according to Sharman.
“It is my opinion that Casey would have been better served by returning home that day and being in a safer and less traumatic environment,” Sharman wrote. “I had no control over decisions being made at that time because Casey’s daughter, Kerri, had obtained a court order so that she could make decisions for him and she had chosen not to return her father to my care.”
— City News Service
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