After months in court and the testimony of over 50 witnesses, the wrongful death case filed by Michael Jackson’s family against concert promoter AEG Live is about to come to a close, with a potential billion dollars at stake.
Jackson was set to perform a 50-night residency at London’s 02 arena before his death in 2009 from acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. This week the jury is expected to begin deliberations as to whether it was AEG who hired and retained Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death.
“It’s been five months, they’ve heard a lot of stuff, now they have to apply the law,” AEG’s attorney Marvin Putnam told reporters on Monday. “The facts show he was never hired by AEG, he was hired by Michael Jackson.”
AEG claims Murray was Jackson’s personal doctor, but the Jackson family insists AEG paid Murray’s bill, and put Murray under huge pressure to get Jackson ready for the multi-million dollar comeback tour they were promoting.
Days before the “This Is It” comeback concerts were due to begin in June 2009, Jackson suddenly died.
Katherine Jackson, Michael’s mother, is one of the plaintiffs, along with Prince Michael and Paris Jackson, his two oldest children. Both Katherine and Prince Michael have testified during the trial.
“It was the worst day of my life, and I never want to feel like that again,” Katherine said on “60 Minutes Australia.”
Attorney Mark Geragos says that if the Jackson family wins, the damages could run into the billions of dollars, as the sum is meant to reflect what Jackson could have earned had he survived.
Whatever the jury decides, the verdict will almost certainly be appealed.
“Michael’s kids will be in college or grad school before they see the money,” Geragos said.