A California court on Wednesday ruled that Micheal Jackson’s promoter AEG Live is not to blame for the pop star’s death in 2009.
At the end of a five-month trial, the six man, six woman panel agreed that AEG Live hired doctor Conrad Murray, but found that he was not unfit or incompetent for the job he was hired to do, a key requirement for the Jackson lawsuit to have succeeded.
Jackson’s mother Katherine alleged that AEG Live negligently hired and supervised Murray, seeking damages of more than a billion dollars for her and the icon’s three children.
AEG Live lead lawyer Marvin Putnam welcomed the verdict, which came after the jury deliberated for three days.
“The jury’s decision completely vindicates AEG Live, confirming what we have known from the start — that, although Michael Jackson’s death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making,” he said in a statement.
Kevin Boyle, one of the Jackson family’s lawyers, voiced disappointment at the verdict, and did not rule out an appeal.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, given by Murray at the star’s rented mansion in Los Angeles, where he was rehearsing for the shows at London’s O2 Arena.
Murray, a Grenada-born cardiologist, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a criminal trial in 2011 for giving the drug to the star — who suffered from chronic insomnia — to help him sleep. He was jailed for four years, but is expected to be released in coming weeks.