Michael Jackson Trial Verdict: AEG is Not Liable in Singer's Death
After five months of testimony and deliberations, a verdict has been reached in the Michael Jackson wrongful death case against entertainment company AEG: not guilty. The suit, filed by Jackson's mother Katherine and the singer's three children, was meant to settle the long-debated question over whether or not Jackson, or if the conglomerate who hired Dr. Conrad Murray, was to blame for the superstar's death in 2009.
In a case with many moving parts, three things needed to be decided upon: who made the decision to hire Murray, if AEG or Jackson were in charge of him — whose administering of the anesthetic propofol ultimately sealed Jackson's fate — and who, then, was to blame for the singer's death. Ultimately, a 12-person jury decided that while AEG did hire Murray, it was not he who was unfit to administer to the singer's needs, but rather Jackson's insistence on the matter, affirming the case that AEG itself was not liable.
The news will no doubt come as a blow to Jackson's family, who were hopeful that the case would swing to the opposite conclusion, which could have awarded them personal damages of more than $1 billion.
But the company's lawyers pushed back, asserting that Jackson was the one who chose Murray, and because of the secretive nature surrounding his propofol habit to induce sleep, they were ill-aware of the risk both Murray and the drug presented to the singer's well-being.
The decision marks the end of an emotional 21-week court battle, which featured testimony from Jackson's mother, children, and his ex-wife Debbie Rowe.