Michael Jackson wrongful death suit - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Michael Jackson wrongful death suit

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The Michael Jackson wrongful death trial begins with opening statements in a Los Angeles courtroom Monday.

Jackson's family claims AEG LIVE, the company that promoted Michael Jackson's 2009 comeback concerts, is liable for his death.

Billions of dollars are at stake.

Michael Jackson was in the last weeks of rehearsal for what was to be his grand comeback.

The exhausted 50-year-old insomniac died in 2009 from an overdose of sedatives and surgical anesthetic Propofol.

Dr. Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving Jackson the fatal dose in an effort to help him sleep. He's in prison.

Now the company that promoted the comeback tour, AEG LIVE is fighting legal claims by Jackson's mother and children that it shares responsibility for the singer's death because it hired and supervised Murray.

"What do you think, as his mother, caused his death?",

CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" said.

"I don't know. All I know is they used Propofol, and they shouldn't have used it. And hey used it in the wrong setting. That's all I know and that's what caused his death," Katherine Jackson, Jackson's Mother said.

"The gist of the plaintiff's claim against AEG is that you've controlled Dr. Murray and you used your control over Dr. Murray to pressure him into taking unnecessary and excessive risks with his patient Michael Jackson leading to Michael Jackson's death," Professor Jody Armour, USC Law School said.

AEG LIVE's attorney says there was never a signed contract with Murray and that Jackson was the only one who controlled him.

"He was chosen by Michael Jackson, he'd be there at Michael Jackson's behest, he'd be Michael Jackson's doctor alone; that this was only being done because Michael Jackson asked for it; Michael Jackson was the only person who could get rid of him at will," Marvin Putnam, AEG Attorney said.

Potential witnesses include Jackson's teenage children, Prince Michael and Paris.

Producer Quincy Jones could testify about the billions of dollars Michael Jackson would have earned if he had lived, money his heirs now want AEG, a multi-billion dollar sports, entertainment, and real estate conglomerate.

The trial is expected to last between two to four months. Jackson family lawyers want to call Conrad Murray to the stand.

But if they do, he plans to take the fifth, so as not to jeopardize the appeal of his manslaughter conviction.

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