A French court has sided with five Michael Jackson fans who claimed they endured “emotional damage” after the artist’s untimely death. And they’ve been awarded a paltry sum of €1 ($1.36) for their troubles.
The AFP news agency reports that 34 fans had sued Conrad Murray, Jackson’s doctor, claiming they had emotional suffering after their hero’s accidental drug overdose in June 2009.
Murray was jailed in 2011 for the involuntary manslaughter of the pop star and served two years of a four-year term for administering to Jackson a fatal dose of Propofol, an anaesthetic drug.
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The claimants — two from France, two from Switzerland and one from Belgium — were members of the Michael Jackson Community fan club in France. Their lawyer Emmanuel Ludot said they’d proven their suffering “with the help of witness statements and medical certificates.” And the court in Orleans agreed.
Needless to say, the decision was unprecedented. “As far as I know this is the first time in the world that the notion of emotional damage in connection with a pop star has been recognised,” Ludot said.
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The damages were symbolic, he noted. And the claimants wouldn’t seek to pursue the damages from Murray. The strange case has another bizarre twist; Ludot said his clients hoped their status as recognized victims would help them gain access to visit Jackson’s grave in Los Angeles, a site that is closed to the public.
An appellate court recently upheld the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Murray, determining there was substantial evidence of his guilt presented at trial.