AEG Live to Argue Michael Jackson's Responsibility for Death in Lawsuit
In a Jackson family lawsuit, the concert promoter will argue Dr. Conrad Murray was the King of Pop's employee.
AEG Live will defend itself in a wrongful death lawsuit by arguing that the King of Pop was responsible for his own death, according to CNN.
The network spoke with Marvin Putnam, an AEG Live lawyer, for "Michael Jackson: The Final Days," a CNN documentary set to air on Friday at 10 p.m.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009, at the age of 50. The Los Angeles County coroner ruled the death the product of "acute proposal intoxication" alongside two other sedatives. His doctor, Conrad Murray, was subsequently found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. He is currently serving out a four-year sentence in the Los Angeles County jail.
The new lawsuit will pit Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, and his three children against the concert promoter, which was set to produce Jackson's "This Is It" shows at London's O2 Arena. Jackson lawyers reportedly argue that AEG Live was responsible for Murray and seek a settlement based on the musician's lost earnings--a number that could range into the billions.
Katherine Jackson and his two oldest children are expected to take the stand.
However, according to Putnam, AEG Live will contend that Murray was not their employee, but Jackson's. Putnam claims Jackson himself was paying Murray directly at the end of his life, information that has been previously unreported. AEG also reportedly intends to present evidence of drug addiction and discuss Jackson's court case over child molestation accusations, for which he was acquitted.
"[Murray] was chosen by Michael Jackson," Putnam told CNN. "He was brought to Los Angeles by Michael Jackson. He had been Michael Jackson's long-time physician and continued in that capacity and was directed by him and could only be fired at will by him."
Jackson lawyers did not comment to CNN about Putnam's remarks. The trial, expected to take several months, will begin in L.A. on Tuesday.