Murder Victims Relatives Threatened To File Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The family members of Jessica Kalish have vowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit if a Palm Beach County probate court battle against the estate of her murderer stalls.

Adrian Thomas is the attorney representing the Kalish’s estate. He is looking to block the killer’s family from getting any portion of Kalish’s assets. According to the “Slayer Statute,” murderers and their estates are prohibited from inheriting from the murdered victims. It was created to stop killers from benefiting from their crimes, through life insurance policies, properties and other assets.

Thomas said that if he is not able to stop the killer’s family, he will file a wrongful death lawsuit against the estate of Carol Ann Burger, who stabbed Kalish 222 times with a screwdriver October 22 in the garage of their Boynton Beach home. Burger, 57, killed herself later.

Thomas was quoted as saying, “It’s an attempt to cover all bases to try to really bring some type of fairness and justice to the victim’s estate by not allowing the slayer’s estate to benefit monetarily.”

The case has become complicated because neither woman left a will. Kalish, 56, and Burger jointly owned their Boynton Beach house and now the killer is dead.

Lisa Hauser, the attorney representing Burger’s estate, said that it was still too early to comment on the threat of a wrongful death lawsuit or the “Slayer Statute.” She said that she did not want to comment until she sees what is filed. Hauser also said that Burger’s family feels terrible about what happened and they send their condolences.

According to the two attorneys, the proceedings have so far been amicable.

Douglas Kniskern, a probate attorney, commented that the type of deed that Kalish and Burger shared on their house meant that Burger would have inherited the entire house upon Kalish’s death. However, the “Slayer Statute” means that Burger’s estate will probably only get half of the house, at best.