Michael Jackson’s family was not awarded any money Wednesday in their lawsuit against the promoter of the pop star’s planned comeback concerts, AEG Live.
A jury found that AEG Live hired Dr. Conrad Murray as the tour's doctor, but they believed Murray was competent to perform the duties of his job at the time he was hired. Therefore, the concert promoter is not liable in the singer's death for Murray's actions in treating Jackson.
Murray was convicted November 7, 2011, of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death from a propofol overdose. Murray is scheduled to be released from prison on October 28.
Brian Panish, the Jackson family’s lead attorney, asked the jury during his closing argument last week to award the family between $1 billion and $2 billion to account for their losses. Panish said the money will not replace the loss of their loved one, but it will help replace the wages he would have earned had he lived and help with their personal suffering. According to Panish's closing statement, the Jacksons deserve $1.6 billion for the loss of the pop icon's income, and an additional $290 million in non-economic damages for the loss of their beloved son and father. The money was to be split between Jackson’s mother and his three surviving children.
The trial began April 29. In total, the jury heard testimony from 58 witnesses over 83 days that detailed Jackson’s drug use and his search for a doctor to give him the anesthetic propofol to help him sleep. AEG’s attorneys argued that the star was responsible for his own death because of his reckless drug use.
Panish conceded during his closing argument that Jackson shared some of the responsibility for his death because of his drug use. However, Panish urged the jury to see that Jackson was not the only one at fault because “he never had a problem until Dr. Conrad Murray was working and until Conrad Murray negotiated with AEG Live.”