Trials & Litigation

Defense verdict reached in Michael Jackson wrongful death case: No award to singer's survivors

Updated: A Los Angeles jury has reached a verdict in the wrongful death case filed by Michael Jackson’s family against the concert promoter that paid the salary of the personal physician convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving him a potent intravenous anesthetic.

Announced at approximately 3:35 p.m., California time, on Wednesday, the verdict supported the defense contention that the promoter was not at fault for Dr. Conrad Murray’s failure to comply with the standard of medical care, according to the Associated Press, CNN and the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.)

Although the jury found that AEG had hired Murray, it also determined that the physician was competent to act as Jackson’s personal physician, when hired. Hence, there was no award to the famous pop singer’s survivors, explains the Hollywood Reporter on its Hollywood, Esq. page.

Even though they admitted Jackson should bear a portion of the blame for taking propofol as a sleep aid, the plaintiffs had sought a stunning $1 billion to $2 billion, based on Jackson’s expected future earnings, contending that AEG Live LLC negligently hired and/or supervised Dr. Conrad Murray.

The defense said the promoter of a planned international tour by Jackson had been misled about his health by both the superstar pop singer and his personal physician.

“AEG would have never agreed to finance this tour if they knew Mr. Jackson was playing Russian roulette in his bedroom every night,” partner Marvin Putnam of O’Melveny & Myers told jurors during trial, referring to the singer’s use of propofol.

See also: “Jury mulls Michael Jackson case, as lawyer for family complains of defense counsel ‘smugness’”

Updated on Oct. 3 to include Hollywood Reporter coverage.

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