(LOS ANGELES) — A trial is scheduled to get underway Monday in Los Angeles involving a wrongful death lawsuit brought by Michael Jackson’s mother against concert promoter AEG Live.
Katherine Jackson is suing the company, which was behind the King of Pop’s aborted This Is It tour, for $40 billion. She claims AEG contributed to her son’s death by hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who gave him a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol.
ABC News legal analyst Royal Oakes says the Jackson side will argue that AEG pressured Dr. Murray to make sure Michael was concert-ready even if it meant risking the singer’s life.
Oakes says the promoter’s defense “will be straight forward.” Oakes explains that AEG will claim that “Michael had a dangerous drug-oriented lifestyle. His hand-picked doctor was a co-enabler. And AEG had nothing to do with the spiraling events that led to Jackson’s death.”
Oakes says AEG has to “walk a fine line” in the trial.
“If they come on too strong, attacking Michael as a self-destructive drug dependent star, they risk a backlash from a jury that might see Jackson’s mother and three children as sympathetic figures and Michael as a victim of corporate pressure to perform,” says Oakes.
In November of 2011, Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering a fatal dose of propofol to Michael Jackson, who died in June 2009 at the age of 50. Murray was sentenced to four years in prison. He has filed an appeal of his conviction.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jim Bennett, Deseret News
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com