There has been a major move by the judge in the Michael Jackson lawsuit. The Huffington Post reports that the judge has dismissed two AEG executives from a negligence lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson’s mother and has allowed the case to proceed against AEG Live LLC, the promoter of his planned comeback concerts.
Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos said lawyers for Katherine Jackson hadn’t presented enough solid evidence that Randy Phillips, CEO of AEG Live LLC, and promoter Paul Gongaware were responsible for Jackson’s death.
But Palazuelos did rule that jurors should decide whether AEG Live hired Conrad Murray, the former cardiologist who was convicted of giving the pop star a lethal overdose of anesthetic in June 2009. AEG Live maintains they did not do anything wrong.
This latest ruling will make the case easier for jurors, who could begin deliberations before the end of the month.
During the trial, Katherine Jackson’s lawyers claimed that the actions of Gongaware and Phillips contributed to Jackson’s death. The lawyers charge the executives ignored warning signs about the superstar’s health and created a conflict of interest for his doctor. Jackson’s mother sued AEG Live in 2010, claiming the company hired Murray. She believes AEG Live created a conflict of interest in Murray’s care of Jackson by agreeing to pay him $150,000 a month to work as a tour physician.
“AEG Live lawyers argued the Jackson family matriarch had failed to prove that the company hired Murray or that its executives could have foreseen that the doctor was giving the entertainer treatments that would lead to his death,” reports HuffPo.
Opening statements in the case were made on April 29 and jurors have heard from more than 50 witnesses in 20 weeks, including Katherine Jackson, his ex-wife Debbie Rowe, and various top AEG Live executives.
The trial has produced potentially damaging testimony to both sides, such as emails sent by AEG executives describing Jackson in unflattering terms, which were presented by Katherine Jackson’s lawyers. AEG’s lawyers have presented the jury testimony from several of Jackson’s doctors, who spoke of their occasional misgivings about whether he was shopping for doctors or was dependent on prescription medications.
Seems like controversy associated with MJ will never end.