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Michael Jackson’s wrongful death trial: Concert promoter found not guilty of negligence by hiring Conrad Murray

 

The jury in the Michael Jackson
wrongful death trial has ruled that the concert promoter was not negligent in
hiring Dr. Conrad Murray who treated the superstar.

In the verdict form, jurors were
first asked to decide the central question of the case whether AEG Live hired
Murray to treat Jackson. During the trial, they heard evidence that AEG had
drafted a contract that was signed by Murray. But there were no indications
that it was signed by AEG Live or Jackson.
Attorneys for Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s mother
argued that Jackson’s signature was not necessary, but the company’s attorneys
said the contract required his consent to be binding.

 Katherine Jackson sued concert
promoter AEG Live LLC over the hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted
of involuntary manslaughter for giving Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic
propofol in 2009. She claimed AEG Live
should have done a thorough background check on Murray. The Jackson family
matriarch was seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for herself
and her son’s three children.The company denied hiring Murray
and said he had been picked by the singer as the doctor for his upcoming shows.

The panel of six men and six women
began deliberating on September 26, more than five months after the start of
the trial that offered an unprecedented look into the superstar’s private life. The case provided the closest look
yet at Jackson’s drug use and his battles against chronic pain and insomnia.
In his closing argument, AEG Live
attorney Marvin Putnam told jurors that the company would have pulled the plug
on the shows if they knew he was using the anesthetic. “AEG would have never agreed to
finance this tour if they knew Mr. Jackson was playing Russian roulette in his
bedroom every night.”
Brian Panish, a lawyer for the
Jackson family, countered that AEG Live was negligent by not looking far enough
to find out what it needed to know about Murray.
He claimed in his closing argument
that the lure of riches turned the company and Murray into mercenaries who
sacrificed the pop star’s life in a quest to boost their own fortunes.

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