On the news of Michael Jackson’s death, many hearts shattered around the world. But for a few fans, the emotional toll on their health was literal.
Five members of a French-based Michael Jackson fan club claimed that Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s former doctor, left them traumatized by administering a lethal dosage of sedatives to the King of Pop. The court, located in the south of Paris, ruled in the claimants’ favor and demanded that Murray compensate each fan for their “emotional damages,” The Daily Mail reports.
“They have been subjected to ridicule and I am delighted their suffering has been taken seriously by the law,” said Emmanuel Ludot, the fans’ lawyer.
If you’re wondering how much the quintet was awarded, the MJ fan club didn’t exactly hit the jackpot. The judge ruled that Murray give each fan one euro — that’s only $1.36 in US dollars. However, this does not seem to faze the distraught fans — they were only looking for symbolic damages. According to Ludot, the claimants will not be seeking to claim the euro from Murray.
The purpose behind the five fans’ legal action, according to BBC, is to be granted permission to visit Michael Jackson’s Los Angeles grave which is currently closed the public.
“The fans now plan to contact Jackson’s mother Katherine to request permission to visit his final resting place in Glendale, California,” said Ludot, according to Reuters.
Ludot points to witness accounts and medical records for the victorious outcome of the lawsuit. “As far as I know this is the first time in the world that the notion of emotional damage in connection with a pop star has been recognised,” he said, according to BBC.
Due to the odd nature of the lawsuit, Ludot explained that the court proceedings were difficult because judges, lawyers, and the French media didn’t take the case seriously. “I respected the suffering of the plaintiffs, but the process wasn’t easy because of all the sniggering,” he added.
In 2011, Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for Michael Jackson’s 2009 death. He was released two years earlier from his four-year prison sentence last October.