The jury in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial has found concert promoter AEG Live not liable in the hiring of a doctor caring for the pop star at the time of his 2009 death.
The trial stemmed from a lawsuit against AEG filed by Jackson’s family in 2010, accusing the company of negligence in their employment of Dr. Conrad Murray — Jackson’s personal physician — who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Jackson died from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol days before a comeback tour put on and promoted by AEG. The lawsuit contended that AEG pushed the doctor to get Jackson ready for the tour even though his health was failing.
The Jackson attorneys assert that AEG created a conflict of interest for Murray and that they should have looked further into the doctor’s financial background to find out he was in debt. [Murray lawyer Valerie] Wass rejects that reasoning.
“What is the difference if you and I go into a doctor, and a doctor is having financial problems and the doctor recommends surgery? Should we question it because the doctor is having financial difficulties? We wouldn’t know that,” said Wass.
A major piece of evidence in the trial was an email sent by AEG Live Co-CEO Paul Gongaware less than two weeks before Jackson’s death, according to CNN. It read: “We want to remind (Murray) that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him.”
Jurors did find that AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray — not Jackson — but did conclude that he was fit to perform his duties.
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