Artists, live events sector
The jury in the $1,5 damages claim brought by Michael Jackson’s family against AEG, promoters of his This Is It tour, have found that whilst AEG did employ Dr Conrad Murray, the company was not liable for his subsequent negligence finding that a licensed doctor Murray was not “unfit” or “incompetent” for the job he was hired to do, even if he proved to be unethical in the treatment he then provided to the late king of pop. The jury found that AEG didn’t have a responsibility to go digging into Murray’s personal life – to discover his acute financial problems, which possibly made him more prone to provide the prescription drugs Jackson craved in order to keep his job and it was reasonable for AEG to therefore assume he would perform the tasks he was hired to do in a responsible way. It was the King of Pop’s own actions that kept his use of the surgery-strength anesthetic propofol a secret from AEG Live and his own choices that led to his untimely death at the age of 50. The jurors found the company had no reason to suspect a licensed doctor with no malpractice claims would violate his Hippocratic Oath with dangerous practices. Marvin Putnam, the promoter’s lead attorney said “What really happened behind those locked doors? That was between Michael Jackson and his physician.” AEG CEO Randy Phillips told reporters: “I counted Michael Jackson as a creative partner and a friend. We lost one of the world’s greatest musical geniuses, but I am relieved and deeply grateful that the jury recognised that neither I, nor anyone else at AEG Live, played any part in Michael’s tragic death”. Kevin Boyle, one of Katherine Jackson’s lawyers, said “We of course are not happy with the result as it stands now” and that the family were exploring legal options. Jackson’s Estate was not involved in the lawsuit.