Wednesday, October 2, 2013
After less than a week of deliberation, the jury in Michael Jackson's family's wrongful death suit against AEG Live ruled in favor of the concert promotion company.
The King of Pop's mother, Katherine, and his three children -- Prince, Paris and Blanket -- sued the concert promoter in 2010, claiming that the company was negligent in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray. In 2011, Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering a fatal dose of propofol. Today the jury ruled that AEG Live was responsible for hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, but that he was not unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired.
However, AEG Live's legal team denied that the company hired Murray, claiming that was Jackson's personnel choice.
Throughout the trial, Jackson's drug use was discussed at great length, as was his passion for performing. Those who knew the singer claimed that his planned "This Is It" tour was to be his big comeback, but AEG Live's representatives said that the tour never would have been financed if they'd known about Jackson's dependency on painkillers.
"AEG would have never agreed to finance this tour if they knew Mr. Jackson was playing Russian roulette in his bedroom every night," AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam said in his closing argument, according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, the Jacksons' lawyer, Brian Panish, said that AEG Live should have done more to find out about Murray, but didn't because of greed.
"Do people do things they shouldn't do for money?" he asked the jury. "People do it every day."
Ultimately, jurors were asked in the verdict form to determine who was responsible for hiring Murray; while AEG drafted a contract for the doctor, as the AP reported, it was unclear whether the concert promoter or Jackson signed it.