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LOS ANGELES, October 3 (Itar-Tass) - A Los Angeles jury cleared concert promoter AEG Live of liability on Wednesday in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Michael Jackson, in a trial that offered a glimpse into the private life and final days of the so-called King of Pop, Reuters reported. Thus, the family of Michael Jackson will not receive a compensation of 85 million US dollars.
The verdict, which concluded that the doctor the company hired to care for the singer was not unfit for his job, capped a sensational five-month trial that threatened to shake up the way entertainment companies treat their most risky talent. “The jury’s decision completely vindicates AEG Live, confirming what we have known from the start - that although Michael Jackson’s death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making,” defence attorney Marvin Putnam said in a statement following the verdict.
The jury, after a week of meeting agreed that the promoter actually hired doctor Conrad Murray. It decided that the doctor was competent. This conclusion is completely contrary to the court findings of 2011, according to which Murray was found guilty of the singer’s death. The doctor was sentenced to four years in prison. His sentence, counted from the moment of detention, expires in October this year.
Fifty witnesses have given testimony at the trial that has lasted for nearly five months. Jackson’s children have tried to prove that the promoter was responsible for the death of the singer, since it hired an unqualified doctor - Dr. Conrad Murray who gave Jackson a lethal dose of propofol. The family demanded a compensation of 290 million US dollars, while noting that the damage was estimated at 1.5-1.6 billion US dollars.
The verdict has shocked the fans of the legendary singer. Dr. Murray is serving a prison sentence for Jackson’s manslaughter and incompetence, Marie, who arrived to the court in Los Angeles to support the mother of Jackson, told Itar -Tass. She said the jury decision was incomprehensible and deeply disappointed her.
The promoter’s defence attorney Putnam earlier drew the jury’s attention to the fact that the real material costs were 10 times less than the amount demanded by the plaintiff. He explained that one could talk about only 21 million dollars, not about 290 million or 1.5 billion dollars, demanded by the mother of the late King of Pop, Katherine Jackson.
According to the attorney, Jackson’s possible future revenues and contracts, had he lived, have nothing to do with the summer 2009 situation. Jackson, said the attorney, was taking propofol since 2007, as he suffered from terrible insomnia and turned to different doctors for prescriptions. Michael Jackson had been repeatedly warned of the propofol danger, he said. AEG Live would have never agreed to organise the tour, knowing that Jackson was playing this “Russian roulette” in his room every night, Putnam stressed.
The King of Pop died on June 25, 2009 of acute intoxication caused by potent drug propofol.