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©AP / Michael Jackson
© AP / Michael Jackson
Judge leans toward letting Jackson suit continue
By ANTHONY McCARTNEY, AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A jury should decide whether the promoter of Michael Jackson's final concerts negligently hired and supervised the physician convicted of causing the singer's death, a judge tentatively ruled Monday.

If the ruling stands, it will allow the case by Jackson's mother, Katherine, to go forward and present the theory that concert giant AEG Live controlled the physician who gave the superstar a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol.

Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos' tentative ruling, however, eliminates some of Katherine Jackson's claims, and an attorney for AEG predicted the company would win at trial.

It is unclear when the ruling will be finalized, or whether the judge will change it. She heard two hours of arguments about the case on Monday, but didn't indicate whether her mind had been changed.

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AEG attorney Marvin Putnam said he was pleased with the ruling and reiterated his belief that the case should have never been filed.

The case centers on whether AEG did an appropriate investigation of Conrad Murray, a former cardiologist who is serving his sentence after being convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of the pop singer. The case also involves whether AEG controlled him while Jackson prepared for a series of comeback concerts.

Katherine Jackson's attorney, Kevin Boyle, declined comment after the hearing, saying he wanted to see the final order.

He told Palazuelos that AEG created a division of loyalties for Murray between his care of Jackson and maintaining an arrangement that would have paid him $150,000 a month to care for the singer.

Jackson died before Murray's contract was signed, and AEG argues he was not an employee of the company.

"AEG just made this more risky for Michael," Boyle argued Monday.

He said the case was unique and it should proceed intact with claims that AEG is liable for Murray's actions. "This has never happened before, or at least no one's been caught," Boyle said.

Putnam argued that by the time it was negotiating Murray's contract with AEG to treat Jackson during a series of London concerts, the doctor had already been treating the singer for some time, had relocated from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and had ordered large amounts of propofol to help Jackson sleep.

"Sadly, it appears that Michael Jackson's death would have occurred anyway," Putnam said after the hearing.

Katherine Jackson sued in September 2010, and a trial has been scheduled for early April.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Feb 26, 2013 7:10AM
Corporations want all the rights afforded to individuals and none of the responsibility. It's time to make corporations responsible for their actions in the lives of individuals famous or not and in the communities in which they operate. If Michael had been your son you would not stop until you got to the bottom of what really happened. If nothing else this civil suit will shine light on what really happened not for the public but for Katherine. Forget the money, sometimes it's about right and wrong and holding people and corporations responsible for their actions. Maybe there is no culpability since Michael would have found what he wanted with or without a promoter contracting with a physician.
Feb 26, 2013 6:46AM
You don't have to be a super star in music to want to hide from the reality that is your life. He was i charge of him, he just surrounded himself with enablers that gave him what he asked for in return for money. The biggest enabler was his family, he was the proverbial cash cow, and now that they milked him dry. This is a waste of the courts time and money, and we need to stop enabling them with these lawsuits.  
Feb 26, 2013 6:34AM
MJ became famous. MJ took a distance from his family. MJ did not trust his family.. MJ had problems.  MJ got into drugs. MJ became addicted to drugs.
Maybe the Jackson family should sue each other and the whole drug industry...and the whole world.
That said, I feel sorry for MJ's children. May they find comfort in the true love MJ had to the world, despite his drug habits. MJ was a true artist.

Feb 26, 2013 6:32AM
I'm sure Michael Jackson shared a lot with his mother.
Feb 26, 2013 6:25AM

Well once again, we never give upwanting to make making money off the dead and the cash cow..  Someone other than the one that chose what they wanted needs to take responsibility and pay.


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