A verdict was reached today in the trial against AEG Live, the concert promoters who were alleged to have been negligent in their treatment of Michael Jackson which the Jackson family claimed led to the performer’s death. A verdict of not guilty was reached for the company.
USA Today has reported that AEG was not found to be negligent in the death of Michael Jackson. The late performer’s mother, Katherine Jackson, had pressed charges against the concert promotion company claiming that it was partially responsible for the death of her, then, 50 year-old son in 2009 and that they should be held accountable.
Mrs Jackson had sued AEG Live because they were producing Michael’s comeback tour when he died. She insisted that the company was responsible for hiring Dr Conrad Murray, who gave the singer propofol which caused his death. The drug administered by Murray should only be used for surgery procedures and the doctor was giving it to Jackson as a sleeping aid and it killed the him.
Dr Conrad Murray had been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter November 2011 and AEG were responsible for hiring the doctor. It was this fact that convinced Mrs Jackson that she had a basis for her negligence charge. She also alleged that that the company placed more emphasis on the money side of the tour and not with her son’s health.
The jury agreed with Katherine Jackson in one area, they agreed that AEG Live did hire Murray, but that the medical professional was not unfit for the job nor was he incompetent. It was these two charges from the Jackson family that were found to be “at the heart” of the case. The jury found that AEG did not hire Murray without due care. In essence the Michael Jackson negligence trial brought in a verdict of not guilty of wrongful death.
The concert promotion company argued that Michael Jackson insisted that AEG take Dr Murray on as his personal physician and disregarded their alternative suggestions of another doctor who was from London. The concerts were to be performed in that city and the doctor would have been ideally located. But Michael still preferred Murray.
AEG also argued that the performer and his doctor kept pertinent facts about the performer’s insomnia and the decision to treat his sleep problem with the heavy duty propofol.
As to AEG acting negligently in the hiring of Murray, the jury foreman said that the jury felt that the doctor was competent to perform the duties that he had been hired for. In effect Murray was just to act as Michael’s general practitioner before the comeback tour.
The jury also believed that Dr Murray was properly trained in his profession and that the promotion company would have had no reason to not hire the man. The jury also felt that after Murray’s conviction in 2011, it did not make sense to try and include AEG in the allegations.
The Michael Jackson trial ran for five months in Los Angeles and the not guilty verdict of negligence only required nine out of 12 jurors to agree to clear AEG of the charges.
By Michael Smith