Michael Jackson Jury: AEG Not Liable in Wrongful Death Suit

Michael Jackson Wrongful Death lawsuit

A Los Angeles jury found that entertainment giant AEG was not liable in a wrongful death case brought by the family of Michael Jackson.

The victory for AEG came after a five-month trial that focused on whether its AEG Live division, which was to be the promoter of Jackson’s “This Is It” concert tour, ignored signs of the singer’s ill health and was responsible for hiring Dr. Conrad Murray. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after giving Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic propofol that led to the singer’s 2009 death.

The jury was instructed to answer up to 16 questions in determining the extent of AEG’s responsibility. To the first question, whether AEG hired Murray, the jury answered yes. But to the second, whether Murray was unfit or incompetent, the jury answered no. That effectively ended the case.

During the trial, AEG’s attorneys argued that it was Jackson who chose Murray, and that the singer’s use of propofol started many years before their relationship with him.

The trial delved not only into Jackson’s personal life but into some of AEG’s practices in managing an event with a singer well known for his eccentricities. The Jackson family lawyer’s nevertheless argued that AEG turned a blind eye to his physical condition while pressing him to do the tour. Some estimates were that, if the Jackson family was victorious, damages could top $1 billion.

The jury of six women and six men began their deliberations on Thursday and reached a verdict early on Wednesday afternoon. During their deliberations, they asked to see a contract drafted by AEG Live for Murray’s services and the video “This Is It,” a documentary based on rehearsals for Jackson’s comeback shows.

Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG, said in a statement, “I am pleased that the jury recognized that this lawsuit was without merit, and the entire AEG family looks forward to putting this unfortunate chapter behind us.” The company’s lead counsel, Marvin Putnam of O’Melveny & Myers, said that “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.”

Earlier in the trial, Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos had dismissed AEG Live executives Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware from the case after they were named in the original suit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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    1. Jim says:

      Would you hire someone who’s an insurance risk 24/7? ME? NO!

      AEG, Michael Jackson and his reps involved in this deal, and his family (EVERY FAMILY MEMBER including TITO) knew what they were all facing! They knew! They knew! They knew! He’s dead! He’s dead! He’s dead!

      The party is over until an appeal is filed! Everybody go home!

    2. mike says:

      Michael was wronged by the AEG enablers – who will get their comeuppance at some point.

      AEG was likely obsessed with him as a (drug-challenged) money maker – but somehow blameless when a serious look at his addictions – and the enablers – is undertaken.

    3. Jim says:

      I’m the 5th Monger

    4. Joli says:

      What is the matter with all you people? Have you no shame? You all sound like a bunch of rumor mongers. You have no idea, shame on you

    5. L.A. Jones says:

      Everybody is everybody. If you lose someone , the pain wants you to lash out. It is. Intellect alone that will suggest that you rethink this reaction. Emotional responses seldom prevail because emotions lie to you. This is not an opinion. It is the truth. It always has been the truth. To side with either party here would be to express an opinion. I loved Michaels performances. I’m sorry he’s gone. I miss him.

    6. Jim says:

      “Think of his poor children.”

      POOR????? They’re worth $100 million plus, each!

    7. Tripp says:

      The Jackson family has no shame. They will stop at nothing to profit from the life of MJ, who was a singular talent but also a druggie pedophile that ruined many lives. If this were my family member, and we were already rich beyond all reason for doing nothing, I would be ASHAMED to drag all of his dirty laundry out in public one more time in a money grab. Think of his poor children.

    8. Mann N' Mirror says:

      It was MJ who asked AEG to pay for his “Doctor Conrad Murray”. So it is Michael who had some guy be his “drug supplier”. The Jackson Klan are greedy $. Money and success hasn’t made the family better… It’s made them worse.

    9. Jim says:

      Who cares! I’m staring at sexy pictures of Lacey Chabert, Age 31!

    10. Kim Reed says:

      “…failed to find not liable…” Who’s on the copy desk these days?

    11. bcf1206 says:

      Has anybody read past the headline so we can talk about the verdict already?

    12. Here is the LA Times’ article, which is more precise: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-michael-jackson-jury-reaches-verdict-in-wrongful-death-case-20131002,0,2366136.story

      The jury did the right thing. Jackie was a druggie and a pedophile, who was responsible for his own death. It was just a matter of time before it happened.

    13. Techno Git says:

      How much did this trial cost the people of Los Angeles County? All so a rich family could be even richer?

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