Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Jackson family loses wrongful death suit against AEG Live

A Los Angeles jury has decided that concert promoter AEG Live did hire Conrad Murray, the doctor who administered the fatal dose of a powerful anesthetic that killed singer Michael Jackson, but that Murray was not unfit or incompetent "to perform the work for which he was hired for." As a result, the jury unanimously determined that the company is not negligent in the death of the pop star and will not have to pay damages to Jackson's family.

Katherine Jackson and her three grandchildren from son Michael Jackson sued AEG Live for wrongful death, claiming the entertainment company that promoted the King of Pop's last concerts failed to pick up on warning signs that could have saved his life. As part of the lawsuit, the Jackson family alleged that AEG did not properly investigate or supervise Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the superstar's death in 2011 and sentenced to four years in prison.

After the verdict was announced, Katherine Jackson told reporters she was OK, according to the Associated Press.

“The jury’s decision completely vindicates AEG Live, confirming what we have known from the start—that although Michael Jackson’s death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making,” AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam said in a statement.

AEG Live's chief executive officer Randy Phillips also issued a statement: “I counted Michael Jackson a creative partner and a friend. We lost one of the world’s greatest musical geniuses, but I am relieved and deeply grateful that the jury recognized that neither I, nor anyone else at AEG Live, played any part in Michael’s tragic death.”

Jurors deliberated for almost three days before reaching the verdict. On Friday, the day deliberations began, the jurors asked for a DVD player and 12 copies of the 2009 documentary, "Michael Jackson's This Is It," which documents the singer's preparation for the London tour he was planning at the time of his death. They also asked for a copy of the contract between AEG Live and Murray.

The often-dramatic five-month trial included dozens of witnesses — including the singer's emotional mother declaring that her son was "not a freak" — and revealed even more details about Michael Jackson's troubled life. 

"They watched him waste away," the 83-year-old matriarch testified. "They could have called me. He was asking for his father. My grandson told me that his daddy was nervous and scared." 

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