Last Wednesday, a jury has come to a decision regarding the Michael Jackson wrongful death case, more than four years after Michael Jackson’s death. The members of this jury, which consisted of six men and six women, rejected the notion that the promoter of his concert was linked to his demise.
This trial consisted of 50-plus witnesses and experts who testified. Their testimonies included Jackson’s struggles with addiction, concert preparations, and his role as a parent, among other topics.
Katherine Jackson, Michael’s mother, filed a lawsuit against AEG Live LLC, as she sought to financially punish the company for hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who was convicted of killing her superstar son with the lethal overdose of the anesthetic Propofol.
The Jackson family believes that “Murray was merely a pawn whose calamitous mistake administering [Propofol] was symptomatic of the lack of care shown to the physically and mentally frail musician by a promoter blinded by dollar signs.”
This five-month trial was the longest trial involving Jackson, and gave the jury a peek inside his homes, concerts, and even the offices of his doctors.
Although jurors concluded that the case had many tragic elements, they did not award the singer’s family any damages. It is estimated that the Jackson family was seeking in excess of $40 billion, claiming damages and wanting money for what Michael’s future earnings could have been.
Katherine Jackson sued AEG Live in 2010 claiming that the company hired her son’s final doctor, Conrad Murray, and created a conflict of interest by agreeing to pay the debt-saddled cardiologist $150,000 a month to work with her son while he prepared for the “This Is It” concerts in London.
As part of their defense, AEG presented a parade of Jackson’s physicians, but also underwent close scrutiny of their own business practices regarding whether they did enough to investigate Murray’s background.
Jurors made the determination that AEG hired Murray, but said they believed he was competent to serve as Jackson’s general practitioner.
“That doesn’t mean we felt he was ethical,” the jury’s foreman Gregg Barden said after the verdict. He continued, “it took the tragic passing of a tremendous father, son and brother for us to even be here. And of course nobody wanted that. We reached a verdict that we understand that not everybody is going to agree with. But the decision was reached after very careful consideration.”
Although this verdict is the latest piece in this ongoing trial, it is not expected to be the end of the Michael Jackson legal battle, as his estate still needs to be settled. In addition, one of his longtime supporters is now claiming that the former pop star sexually abused him while he was a child.
Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter after giving Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic Propofol as Jackson was preparing for his comeback shows “This Is It” in London, England. Witnesses who took the stand during the trial claim that Jackson viewed these concerts as a chance for personal redemption after being acquitted of child molestation.
As the opening dates of the concert approached, Jackson grew restless, faced with insecurity, agonizing over his inability to sleep, according to other witnesses who testified. Jackson found Murray, who was willing to buy Propofol in large amounts, as well as administer it to Jackson on a nightly basis to help Jackson sleep, even though it was never meant to be used outside of the operating rooms.
According to testimony during the civil trial, the only two people who knew of Jackson’s nightly Propofol binges were Jackson and Murray.
Jackson’s mother, Katherine, as well as his three children, are living off of Jackson’s estate comfortably, erasing hundreds of millions of dollars in debts by debuting new projects, as well as releasing new music featuring Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop.”
The members of the jury concluded the trial before they ever reached any questions about whether Jackson was partially responsible for his own death. At least one juror said that that wasn’t a question they needed to answer, adding, “I don’t want to say whose fault it is. I’m not one to point fingers.”
What do you think about the jury verdict? Do you think that Murray should be held liable for Jackson’s death? Feel free to comment on this blogpost. For more information, contact a Gacovino Lake attorney at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).