Last Update: Thursday, December 05, 2013
|Jury Finds For AEG In Wrongful Death Suit Of Pop Star Michael Jackson|
|Written by Bill Hetherman City News Service|
|Thursday, 03 October 2013 01:23|
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – On their fourth day of deliberations, jurors found AEG Live innocent of any wrongdoing in the death of Michael Jackson, rejecting a lawsuit by the singer's mother alleging the concert promoter negligently hired the doctor who gave the pop superstar a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol.
The panel deliberated for just under 14 hours before indicating it had reached a verdict shortly before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
Katherine Jackson alleged the concert promoter hired Dr. Conrad Murray as Michael Jackson's physician and failed to supervise him, leading to the pop sensation's 2009 death from an overdose of propofol.
Jurors deliberated for about two hours beginning Sept. 26, a full day on Sept 27, and all day Oct. 1. Ironically, Katherine Jackson showed up at the courthouse on Wednesday to wait for a verdict. It was the first day she had been seen at the courthouse during the deliberations.
During his closing argument, Jackson family attorney Brian Panish insisted that AEG Live was responsible for hiring Murray, who is behind bars for giving the singer a fatal overdose of propofol. AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam argued, however, that AEG never hired Murray and that it was Jackson himself who brought the cardiologist aboard.
Unlike in a criminal trial, the jury of six men and six women does not have to reach a unanimous decision for there to be a verdict; agreement by nine jurors is the requirement for a verdict in a civil trial.
Shortly after the panel began deliberating on Sept. 26, it sent a note requesting a variety of office supplies and copies of Murray's never-signed independent contractor agreement, along with a video player and a copy of the "This Is It" documentary film, which was based on Jackson's rehearsals for the series of scheduled concerts in England.
Katherine Jackson, the 83-year-old family matriarch, sued in September 2010 on behalf of herself and her son's three children, Michael Jr., Paris-Michael Katherine and Prince Michael, claiming that AEG Live hired Murray to be Jackson's personal physician.
Jackson died of propofol intoxication at age 50 on June 25, 2009, at the rented Holmby Hills estate where he lived while rehearsing in the Southland for the "This Is It" concerts.
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the powerful anesthetic and sentenced in November 2011 to four years in the Los Angeles County men's jail. He is scheduled to be released Oct. 28 – an early release due to behavior credits and overcrowding in the jails.
Panish suggested that jurors award Katherine Jackson and the singer's three children as much as $1.5 billion, although he conceded that Jackson likely bore about 20 percent responsibility for his own death. He insisted, however, that AEG live should be held accountable for about 80 percent of the negligence involved.
Putnam argued that his clients never hired Murray and that the cardiologist, in fact, had been one of many doctors who had treated the singer in the past. Putnam also said Jackson had a drug problem for years before he entered into any agreements to perform on behalf of AEG Live.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 03 October 2013 06:02|