A state appeals court panel on Friday rejected Katherine Jackson’s appeal of a jury decision that concert promoter AEG Live was not liable for the death of her pop icon son, Michael Jackson.
In a 39-page ruling, a three-judge panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld the jury’s Oct. 2, 2013, verdict clearing AEG of wrongdoing. Jackson died on June 25, 2009, at age 50 while rehearsing for a series of concerts in London titled “This Is It.”
The singer died from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which was administered by his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, at the singer’s rented Holmby Hills estate. In 2011, Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years in jail.
Katherine Jackson sued AEG, the promoter of the “This Is It” concerts, claiming it was liable for Murray’s treatment of the singer.
After nearly 14 hours of deliberations over four days, a six-man, six- woman jury determined that AEG Live did hire Murray as Jackson’s doctor, but it answered “no” to question number two, which asked if Murray was “unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired.”
With that answer, the jury denied any damages to Katherine Jackson and the late singer’s three children.
In its ruling, the appeals court panel backed the jury’s decision.
“The evidence fails to establish a triable issue that AEG had the right to control the manner and means of Dr. Murray’s treatment of Michael,” according to the ruling. “It is undisputed that AEG contracted Dr. Murray and began contract negotiations as an accommodation to Michael. Dr. Murray, Michael’s personal physician of three years, was to be engaged at Michael’s request and expense, in spite of AEG’s suggestions that a London-based physician would be preferable.
“The evidence also shows that AEG’s interactions with Dr. Murray were limited. AEG never instructed Dr. Murray on how to treat Michael, and no evidence was presented that AEG had the right to control Dr. Murray’s treatment of Michael.”
— City News Service
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