The family of the late ‘King of Pop’, Michael Jackson, have lost the case they brought against concert promoter, AEG Live, that they were negligent in hiring the doctor who was responsible for his death.
According to Sky News, a jury of six men and six women sitting in a Los Angeles Court reached verdicts on 16 questions brought by the pop star’s family following a five-month trial.
They determined that AEG Live did hire Dr Conrad Murray before the singer’s planned comeback concerts but that he was not unfit for his job.
That ruling ended any further consideration on damages and who was at fault for the death.
In a statement read by defence attorney Marvin Putnam, he said: “The jury’s decision completely vindicates AEG Live, confirming what we have known from the start – that although Michael Jackson’s death was a terrible tragedy … not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making.”
The wrongful death lawsuit was brought by Jackson’s mother, Katherine, 83, and his three children over Michael Jackson’s death. The family claimed AEG Live negligently hired Murray as Jackson’s personal physician and ignored signs the Thriller singer was in poor health prior to his death.
Jackson had been due to start a series of 50 comeback concerts in London.
But as the opening date of the shows approached, he is said to have had bouts of insecurity and agonised over his inability to sleep.
The trial heard testimony from Jackson’s son Prince, his ex-wife Debbie Rowe and mother Katherine, as well as details of his struggles to perform, his use of prescription drugs and his relationship with his children.
Jackson family lawyers had suggested in court documents that damages could have exceeded $1bn (£616m) had the promoter been found liable.
Testimony at the civil trial showed only Jackson and Murray knew he was taking propofol.
In his closing argument, Mr Putnam told jurors the company would have pulled the plug on the shows if they knew he was using the anaesthetic.
“AEG would never have agreed to finance this tour if they knew Mr Jackson was playing Russian roulette in his bedroom every night,” he said.