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Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Suit

Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Suit

Second round begins in legal bout against AEG, attorneys for Katherine Jackson claim jurors received the wrong verdict forms.

Published January 23, 2015

A bid to find AEG financially liable in the death of the King of Pop has gone back to court. On Thursday (Jan. 22), attorneys for Katherine Jackson appeared in front of a three-judge panel at the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles to argue for a new trial on grounds that the first jury received the wrong instructions, and verdict forms.

The late superstar's mom lost a $1 billion lawsuit against AEG in October 2013, leading to an appeal a month later. Her attorneys say that the judge in the original case wrongfully dismissed negligence claims brought against AEG. 

AEG contracted Michael Jackson for the This Is It tour in 2009. At the time, he was being treated for insomnia by his personal physician, Conrad Murray. AEG contends to having no idea that Murray was giving the singer propofol, which was found to have contributed to his death. 

During yesterday's hearing, the appellate judging panel questioned whether or not AEG actually paid Murray to treat the performer, or if the company really knew he was using the dangerous sedative to sleep. "What is the fault of AEG in this?" Associate Justice Sandy Kriegler asked Jackson's attorney Margaret Grignon. "I'm just lost in all of this. They just don’t seem to have any knowledge of this.”

AEG’s attorney Marvin Putnam concurred. "Everyone in the world, not just AEG, learned about propofol because of this tragic death," Putnam told the judges.

Jackson was not in court, although her attorneys were keeping her informed of the proceedings. “We're the underdog, and we're not supposed to win,” lawyer Kevin Boyle told the New York Daily News. “But I think we should win under the facts of the law here.” 

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(Photo: AP Photo/Joel Ryan, File)

Written by Latifah Muhammad

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