A trial revolving around the death of Michael Jackson began today, and around $40 billion is at stake as Jackson’s family sue the concert promoters AEG Live.
The civil trail started with opening statements, and, later in the trail, the singer’s children, Prince, 16, and Paris, 14, are set to appear on the stand in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The Jackson family want $40 billion in damages from the company as they accuse them of negligence. They believe that they contributed to Jackson’s death as the singer looked to get into shape before a 50 show comeback tour at London’s O2 Arena.
This trial is expected to last three months and will feature appearances from Prince, Diana Ross, Quincy Jones, and Jackson’s ex-wives, Debbie Rowe and Lisa Marie Presley.
The family believe that AEG Live’s hiring of Conrad Murray, the doctor who was jailed in 2011 for the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson, was neglectful.
Murray provided the singer with an overdose of Propofol, a sedative, and he subsequently died in 2009, just three weeks before the start of the tour.
AEG are contesting this case though, stating that Jackson’s long history of drug abuse lead to his death. They have also added that amount of money the Jackson’s are pursuing is “preposterous” especially when you consider his “descending career.”
AEG Live lawyer, Marvin Putman, told CNN recently, “He was chosen by Michael Jackson, to be there at Michael Jackson’s behest, to be Michael Jackson’s doctor alone. This was only being done because Michael Jackson asked for it.”
Katherine Jackson, the pop star’s mother, has dismissed this notion though, stating “AEG had legal duties to Michael Jackson to treat him safely and to not put him in harm’s way. But AEG, despite its knowledge of Michael Jackson’s physical condition, breached those duties by putting its desire for massive profits from the tour over the health and safety of Michael Jackson.”
The trial is expected to last for several weeks.