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Jacksons vs. AEG Live Wrongful-Death Case

michael-jacksonAfter AEG Live was sued by Michael Jackson’s mother and his three children, jurors decided the entertainment firm was not responsible for the pop icon’s death.

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For the dedicated Michael Jackson fans who came to the trial day after day, the singer still could do little wrong. They wore T-shirts expressing their love for the singer and their support for his aged mother. One fan even brought a bouquet of red roses to give Katherine Jackson and her attorneys.

Defense Warns of “Ugly Stuff” in Jackson Death Trial

Michael Jackson

So when the judge announced Wednesday that jurors had decided AEG Live was not responsible for Jackson’s death, they weren’t just stunned, they were angry. They didn’t understand how a five-month trial that seemed to expose the concert promoter as caring little about the singer’s well-being could end this way.

“My heart is broken,” said Barbara de L’Orme, 42. “This was the greatest artist that we ever had, and they treated him like this. The evidence was right there.”

When Marvin Putnam, AEG Live’s lead attorney, stood in front of the scrum of TV cameras, microphones and notebooks, fans could be heard shouting, “Michael Jackson! Michael Jackson!”

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

After five months of testimony in the Michael Jackson wrongful-death trial, a jury found Wednesday that AEG Live was not responsible for the singer’s death.

Michael Jackson Performing

Michael Jackson

The verdict stated that Dr. Conrad Murray, who administered the fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol that killed the singer in 2009, had been hired by AEG Live but that the doctor was not unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired.

The findings, reached by the 12-person Los Angeles Superior Court jury on its third full day of deliberations, mean that AEG is not liable for damages in Jackson’s death.

The Jackson family will not get any of the $290 million in personal damages its lawyers had asked for, nor the more than $1 billion in economic damages attorneys had claimed.

The verdict was a vindication for AEG Live, which had never considered settling, the company’s attorney told news media outside the courthouse.

“AEG Live didn’t do something wrong here and they weren’t going to allow themselves to be shaken down,” said Marvin Putnam, lead trial counsel for AEG.

In a statement, Putnam said Jackson’s death “was a terrible tragedy, (but) was not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making.”

Attorneys for the Jackson family said they were considering their options.

Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and his three children sued AEG in 2010, claiming the entertainment firm was negligent in its hiring of Murray, who was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death and is expected to be released from prison later this month.

Michael Jackson was preparing for his “This Is It” comeback tour when he died at the age of 50.

Dozens of witnesses testified in the civil case against AEG, often describing in detail Jackson’s life, including drug abuse.

The jury was tasked with determining who was responsible for hiring Murray – AEG Live LLC or Michael Jackson himself.

Jurors were handed the case on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 26. Judge Yvette Palazuelos had told jurors that the verdict need not be unanimous, only 9 to 3.

After being asked to find if AEG had hired Murray, the jury was faced with a series of questions leading to a potential determination about the amount of damages AEG could have been required to pay.

filephoto Conrad Murray

Conrad Murray appears in court.

Special Verdict Form: Jury Questionnaire (PDF)

However, because the jury answered “no” to the second question — finding that  Murray was not unfit or incompetent — jurors were not required to weigh other questions about AEG’s alleged negligence or about the amount of damages.

An attorney for the Jackson family had told the jury that the children — Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II — should each get $85 million and Katherine Jackson should receive $35 million.

And an expert who testified for the family said the singer would have earned as much as $1.5 billion had he lived, an amount AEG’s attorney called “absurd.” AEG could have been required some or all of that amount in economic damages, had the company been found liable.

Jurors spoke with media outside the courthouse afterward, seeking to explain the verdict. One man, who identified himself as Greg, juror No. 6, said the jury focused closely on the language of the question about Murray’s competence.

The question asked jurors if Murray was “unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired.”

“We felt he was competent to do the job of being a general practitioner,” Greg said. “That doesn’t mean we felt he was ethical. Maybe had the word ‘ethical’ been in the question, it could have been a different outcome.”

“I don’t see this as a vindication of Dr. Murray,” he added.

Michael Jackson fans outside the courthouse were stunned, some saying they strongly believed Murray was incompetent and that the jurors must have been confused.

Murray’s own attorney said the verdict was positive in part for her client, who is appealing his conviction.

“It’s a vindication in the sense that he’s been found by a jury to be competent,” lawyer Valerie Wass said. “Unfortunately it doesn’t impact the fact that he has a felony conviction.”

An attorney for Katherine Jackson, Perry Sanders, issued a statement on her behalf focusing on the jury’s finding that AEG hired Murray.

“We have said from the beginning that this case was a search for the truth.  We found the truth,” the statement read, in part. “AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray, the man who is in jail for killing Michael Jackson.”

Jurors began their second full day of deliberations Tuesday in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial.

Michael Jackson Performing

Michael Jackson

On Friday, juror number six, a high school football coach, was selected as jury foreman.

The jury also requested several items from the judge Friday: 12 copies of Michael Jackson’s “This is It” movie — which captures Jackson’s last rehearsals — a DVD player, and copies of the contract AEG Live sent to Dr. Conrad Murray.

Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and his three children sued AEG, claiming that the entertainment firm was negligent in its hiring of Conrad Murray, the doctor who administered a fatal dose of propofol to the legendary singer in 2009.

Michael Jackson was preparing for his “This Is It” comeback tour when he died at the age of 50.

The jury must decide who is responsible for hiring Murray – AEG or Michael Jackson himself.

Judge Yvette Palazuelos told jurors that the verdict need not be unanimous, only 9 to 3.

If AEG is found responsible, the jury will be asked decide how much money to award in damages.

Jackson’s family was reportedly seeking $1 billion to $2 billion in damages.

Jurors began deliberations Thursday in the Michael Jackson wrongful-death trial.

The 12 jurors spent two hours in the jury room Thursday afternoon before ending their day; they will return Friday morning for more deliberations.

michael-jackson-picJackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and his three children sued AEG, claiming that the entertainment firm was negligent in its hiring of Conrad Murray, the doctor who administered a fatal dose of propofol to the legendary singer in 2009.

Michael Jackson was preparing for his “This Is It” comeback tour when he died at the age of 50.

The jury must decide who is responsible for hiring Murray – AEG or Michael Jackson himself.

Judge Yvette Palazuelos told jurors that the verdict need not be unanimous, only 9 to 3.

If AEG is found responsible, the jury will be asked decide how much money to award in damages. Attorneys for the Jackson family are asking for $290 million in damages. An expert who testified for the family said the singer would have earned as much as $1.5 billion had he lived.

Katherine Jackson testified for three days in the trial. Her grandson, Prince, testified about what happened on the day his father died.

Attorneys for Michael Jackson’s family are expected to deliver closing arguments Tuesday in the pop icon’s wrongful death trial, which has now lasted more than five months.

michael-jackson-this-is-it

Michael Jackson was preparing for his “This Is It” tour when he died in June 2009.

Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and his three children sued AEG, claiming that the entertainment firm was negligent in its hiring of Conrad Murray, the doctor who administered a fatal dose of propofol to the legendary singer.

The jury must decide who is responsible for hiring Murray – AEG or Michael Jackson himself.

Judge Yvette Palazuelos told jurors that the verdict need not be unanimous, only 9 to 3.

If AEG is found responsible, the jury will be asked decide how much money to award in damages. Attorneys for the Jackson family are expected to ask for more than $1 billion in damages, which experts say the singer would have earned on his ill-fated “This Is It” comeback tour.

Katherine Jackson testified for three days in the trial. Her grandson, Prince, testified about what happened on the day his father died.

After nearly five months of testimony, much of it focused on the mental and physical health of one of the world’s most celebrated entertainers, the Michael Jackson wrongful death case moved closer to a verdict Monday as the judge read her instructions to jurors.

filephoto Michael Jackson

Credit: Los Angeles Times

The Jackson family’s attorneys will give their closing arguments Tuesday, followed the next day by lawyers for concert producer and promoter AEG. On Thursday, the Jacksons’ lawyers will do their rebuttal.

After that, the case will be in the hands of the jurors.

Because of the expected media crush, final arguments have been moved to a much larger courtroom, one that holds more than 300 people. The courtroom where the trial played out holds about 50 people, and at one point the fire marshal forced the court to reduce the number of spectators.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

Testimony in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial was expected to resume in Los Angeles Wednesday after being delayed for more than a week because of a juror’s family emergency.

michael-jackson-this-is-itAttorneys for the Jackson family and AEG Live met with the judge behind closed doors Wednesday morning to discuss which evidence should be admissible in court.

Some of the issues brought before the judge included Jackson’s alleged drug use and an autopsy performed on the pop star that AEG attorneys said was commissioned by Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson.

Katherine Jackson, along with Michael Jackson’s three children, filed the wrongful death suit worth a reported $40 billion claiming AEG Live was responsible for the singer’s death because it hired and directly supervised Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson’s death.

Attorneys for the company have said Michael Jackson was responsible for hiring Murray and that AEG was in the dark about treatments.

Testimony was expected to resume Wednesday afternoon.

A judge rejected AEG Live’s request that she dismiss the Michael Jackson wrongful death lawsuit, but two executives were dropped as individual defendants on Monday, a ruling that had each side claiming a measure of victory.

michael-jackson-this-is-it

The trial, which is in its fifth month in a Los Angeles courtroom, is expected to conclude with closing arguments as soon as next week.

But before AEG Live lawyers rest their defense case on September 16, they may call Michael Jackson’s mother back to the witness stand, attorney Marvin Putnam said.

A decision will be made on the need for more testimony from Katherine Jackson after the judge rules on several issues regarding possible damages on Wednesday, Putnam said.

Click here to read the full story at CNN.com.

 

katherine-jackson-pic

Katherine Jackson is slated to take the stand Friday in the wrongful-death suit she and her late son’s three children brought against AEG Live.

LOS ANGELES – An emotional Katherine Jackson testified for the first time Friday in her lawsuit against entertainment giant AEG Live over her son Michael’s death, saying she wanted to know “what really happened to my son.”

The 83-year-old matriarch held attorney Brian Panish’s hand as she made her way to the witness stand, where the lawyer and court bailiff helped her into her seat. She adjusted her purple-and-white patterned jacket as the microphone was moved closer.

Katherine Jackson admitted she was nervous – it was the first time she had ever spoken to a jury, she said. She also said it was difficult to speak in public about such a private matter.

“The most difficult thing is to sit here in this court and listen to all the bad things they say about my son,” she said, later adding. “A lot of the things that have been said are not the truth. And he’s not here to speak for himself.”

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.