Michael Jackson Wrongful-Death Trial Begins Today

The Wrap

Opening statements in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial are scheduled to begin today as jurors decided whether concert promoters AEG negligently hired Dr. Conrad Murray to look after Jackson and tried to rush him onstage despite dangers to his health.

Jackson's mother Katherine, is suing AEG on behalf of herself and Michael Jackson's three children. Jackson died from cardiac arrest in June 2009 with lethal levels of the drug Propofol in his system. Murray is currently serving a four-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for administering the drug.

The list of potential witnesses includes Michael Jackson's ex-wives, Lisa Marie Presley and Deborah Rowe, Dr. Conrad Murray, Prince, Diana Ross, Spike Lee and Quincy Jones.

The Jacksons claim AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray in May 2009 to look after Jackson and to ensure he attended every rehearsal for his "This Is It" tour. Fifty shows were scheduled to begin at London's 02 Arena in July 2009.

AEG is expected to argue that Jackson struggled with addiction for years and that he chose Murray himself. AEG also contends that it could not have foreseen that Murray was a potential danger.

If convicted, AEG could have to pay what Jackson would have earned had he survived, a sum that could amount to billions of dollars. 

 

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