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Jackson family loses lawsuit against tour promoter

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-03

A jury on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Michael Jackson's family seeking massive damages from tour promoter AEG Live, who they accused of negligence linked to the music star's death.

A California jury on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit brought by the late music legend Michael Jackson’s mother claiming that negligence by the tour operator AEG Live led to the death of her son in 2009.

The jury decided that Conrad Murray, the doctor who killed Jackson with an overdose of an anaesthetic the singer used as a sleep aid, was not incompetent to perform his duties involving Jackson.

“That doesn’t mean we felt he was ethical,” jury foreman Gregg Barden said after the verdict was read, acknowledging many would be surprised and disagree with the ruling.

Murray, who was hired by AEG Live to take care of Jackson, was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter after giving star the fatal overdose as he prepared for a series of comeback shows billed under the name “This Is It”.

The ruling on the competence of Murray ended any further consideration of possible damages and who was at fault for the death.

A victory could have meant hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for Katherine Jackson and the singer’s three children.

Chronic pain

The five-month trial provided the closest look yet at Jackson’s drug use and his battles against chronic pain and insomnia.

Witnesses at the trial said Jackson saw the concerts as a chance for personal redemption after being acquitted of child molestation.

But as the opening date of “This is it” approached, associates admitted that Jackson had bouts of insecurity and agonised over his inability to sleep.

They said he turned to the drug propofol and found Murray, who was willing to buy it in bulk and administer it to him  nightly  even though it is not meant to be used outside operating rooms.

The defence also laid out Jackson’s troubled medical history, presenting testimony about his use of drugs, including the powerful painkiller Demerol, for pain stemming from an accident that occurred decades ago while he was filming a Pepsi commercial.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-10-03

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