Jury selection began Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson’s mother against the promoter of the late pop star’s planned comeback concerts.
Dozens of prospective jurors answered written questionnaires that gauged their ability to serve on the trial, which may last three months. One 24-page section of the questionnaire focused on each person’s knowledge and opinions on Jackson’s life, his music, his family, as well as media coverage and whether they would have a problem deciding a multimillion-dollar case.
Katherine Jackson’s case accuses concert giant AEG Live of failing to properly investigate the former doctor who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the superstar’s June 2009 death.
AEG has denied wrongdoing and its attorney, Marvin Putnam, has said the company could not have foreseen circumstances that led to Jackson dying from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol.
The trial will revisit the singer’s final days, as well as his struggles with insomnia and prescription drugs.
Jackson’s family is seeking $40 billion, but jurors will determine any damage amounts awarded. If they award damages, jurors will have to determine how much responsibility AEG Live has for Jackson’s death.
The panel also could determine that the pop superstar was responsible for his own demise and limit the amount his family can collect.
The court proceedings, though routine, drew interest from fans and media outlets, who parked satellite trucks and cameras outside the courthouse. Katherine Jackson, who sued AEG in 2010 and has had her case trimmed to a single allegation of negligent hiring and supervision, did not attend the first day of jury selection.
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