Despite defense verdict in Michael Jackson case, entertainment execs ponder potential liabilityHome
Entertainment & Sports Law
Despite defense verdict in Michael Jackson case, entertainment execs ponder potential liability
By Martha Neil
Oct 3, 2013, 04:15 pm CDT
Despite a defense verdict Wednesday in the Michael Jackson wrongful death case, entertainment industry executives aren't breathing a sigh of relief.
The case—in which a concert promoter would have found itself facing a potential verdict of $1 billion or more if had the jury sided with the plaintiffs—is prompting soul-searching about the way in which a megastar's entourage is traditionally handled, Reuters reports.
Routinely paid for by third parties such as concert promoter AEG Live LLC, the defendant in the Jackson case, members of a star's entourage could potentially be a major source of liability, executives now worry. The result likely will be new insurance requirements imposed on entertainers and a review of contractual standards, predicts senior vice president Lorrie McNaught of Aon/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services Inc.
"The biggest stars all have doctors and their own staff," McNaught says. So "if you have a security guard who winds up punching someone in the face or kills someone, who is responsible?
"Is it the artist, the bodyguard, the promoter? I think promoters will require stars to indemnify their own staff. Even if AEG was not held responsible, I still think this case will make attorneys find ways to tighten contracts."
ABAJournal.com: "Jury mulls Michael Jackson case, as lawyer for family complains of defense counsel ‘smugness’"
ABAJournal.com: "Defense verdict reached in Michael Jackson wrongful death case: No award to singer’s survivors"