The mother of Michael Jackson will not get a second chance to sue major music concert promoter AEG Live after losing a wrongful death lawsuit against the company last year, CNN reports.
Los Angeles County Judge Yvette Palazuelos’s ruling, however, was described as “tentative.” Her final word on the case is expected in the coming days.
Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael Jackson, sued AEG, claiming that the company hired Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of causing the pop star’s June 25, 2009 death by giving him an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which Murray said he used to treat the “Beat It” singer’s chronic insomnia.
In her lawsuit, Katherine Jackson claimed that AEG Live, who hired Murray, should be held financially liable for Michael Jackson’s death two months short of the self-proclaimed King of Pop’s 51st birthday.
In October, a jury in Los Angeles decided that Murray was competent when AEG brought him on to treat Michael Jackson, so the giant concert promoter could not be held responsible for the singer’s accidental overdose, according to an earlier CNN account.
But since then, Jackson family lawyers have collected statements from four of the jurors in last year’s case who said that the verdict form given to them by Judge Palazuelos was confusing and faulty. The form contained several questions, but the one that caused the confusion was worded: “Was Dr. Conrad Murray unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired?”
All jurors answered “no” to that question. But the four jurors said they were confused because they thought the question referred only to Murray’s fitness for the job at the time AEG hired him, not “at any time.” Those three words should have been part of the question, the Michael Jackson family now contends.
“After sitting through almost six months of the trial in this case, I believed that Mrs. Jackson had proven her case against AEG Live,” said one of the jurors in the statements taken by the Jackson attorneys. “Despite this fact, I had no way of voting in favor of the plaintiffs because of the way that the verdict form was worded.”
The lawyers for the Michael Jackson family argue that the jury should have been allowed to consider whether AEG improperly supervised Murray’s treatment of the superstar, according to CBS News.
AEG lawyers countered with statements from seven jurors saying that they did not find the verdict form in the Michael Jackson wrongful death suit confusing at all.