83 days of testimony. 21 weeks of trial. 58 witnesses on the stand. 3 days of deliberations.
Yesterday marked the end of a litigious dispute between Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and the Jackson family. Three years ago Michael Jackson‘s mother and the singer’s three children filed a lawsuit against AEG. The lawsuit argued that AEG’s negligence in hiring, retaining and supervising Dr. Conrad Murray was a factor in the singer’s death on June 25, 2009. As you may recall, AEG Live was the company responsible for promoting and producing Jackson’s comeback concerts prior to his death. Although Jackson personally selected Murray to serve as his practitioner, AEG ultimately hired him and entered into their own contract. Yesterday a unanimous jury in Los Angeles determined that AEG was not negligent in Jackson’s death.
Negligence is legally defined as the failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation. At the time AEG entered into a contract with Murray he was licensed to practice medicine and had never been sued for malpractice. While yesterday’s jury found Murray to be unethical, they did find him to be capable, therefor ruling AEG did not meet the negligence threshold.
Jackson’s lawyers say they plan to appeal.
Jaia Thomas is a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment attorney. Her multi-faceted practice covers all segments of the entertainment industry, including: television, film, music and new media. For more information: www.jathomaslaw.com or @jaiathomaslaw.