Accused killer Patrick Frazee’s defense team is trying to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Kelsey Berreth’s parents, claiming the missing woman’s parents don’t have legal standing to file a civil suit in her presumed death.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Cheryl and Darrell Berreth filed a wrongful death suit earlier this month against Frazee following his arrest for the murder of 29-year-old Kelsey, who has not been seen since Thanksgiving Day.
Jennifer Stock, Frazee’s attorney, told ABC News that his legal team is working to have the wrongful death suit dismissed, on the grounds that Berreth’s parents are not in a legal position to file the suit.
“Under Colorado law, parents can only bring a lawsuit if there is no living spouse or child,” Stock told the news station.
Frazee and Berreth have a child together, who was less than a year old when Berreth disappeared.
ABC News obtained a copy of the motion, which reads, in part:
“When a decedent has either a surviving spouse or child, the decedent’s parents do not have standing to bring a claim of wrongful death. Here, decedent Kelsey Berreth is survived by her one year old daughter. Therefore, plaintiff parents lack standing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant.”
An overview of wrongful death claims criteria on the website for a Colorado-based law group does indicate that Colorado law allows for surviving parents to file a civil claim only if there are no living children. It is not clear if there are any provisions to the law if the only living children are minors.
Frazee has been charged with multiple counts of murder and solicitation to commit first-degree murder, though authorities have not named any additional suspects. The defendant is due back in court on February 19.