Jacksons v AEG Timeline Legal

Insurers sue over Jackson death and This Is It policy 

By | Published on Tuesday 7 June 2011

Remember how, shortly after Michael Jackson’s untimely death in June 2009, we pondered over the insurance situation regards the late king of pop’s intended ‘This Is It’ residency at The O2.

We knew tens of millions had already been spent on the ill-fated live show and only a portion of that budget had been insured against a no-show on the singer’s part. Plus, we wondered, would the insurers even pay out on the bit that had been insured, given the circumstances surrounding the pop star’s death.

Well, here we are two years later, and insurer Lloyd’s Of London launched legal action this week, against both ‘This Is It’ promoter AEG Live and the Jackson estate, in a bid to get out of paying $17.5 million to cover some of the losses incurred when the O2 season was axed following the king of pop’s sudden demise.

The insurer says that the insurance policy relating to ‘This Is It’ is void because AEG Live misrepresented Jackson’s health at the outset. The live music giant, Lloyd’s alleges, claimed that Jackson had not received any medical treatment, other than cosmetic surgery, since 2005.

The promoter and Jackson’s people also failed – according to Team Lloyd’s – to declare that the singer was regularly taking, and was arguably addicted to, prescription drugs, including the one that killed him, propofol. The insurance firm also says that AEG failed to undertake a medical exam of Jackson, which was required by the insurance policy.

All of which is interesting because, when the media speculated in early 2009 as to whether Jackson was fit enough to deliver a fifty night residency, many noting that the singer had shunned a London court appearance in relation to his dispute with Sheikh Abdulla the previous year supposedly because of ill health, AEG insisted doctors and insurers had given the singer the all clear health wise.

AEG made a claim on its insurance policy with Lloyd’s shortly after Jackson’s death. But, Lloyd’s says it has been requesting more information about the late singer’s health, and his personal medic Conrad Murray, since late 2009, to no avail.

AEG is yet to respond to the lawsuit, though a spokesman for the Jackson estate was dismissive of the insurer’s claims. The estate’s legal rep Howard Weitzman told The Wrap that the Lloyd’s lawsuit was “nothing more than an insurance company trying to avoid paying a legitimate claim by the insured”.

Whatever happens with lawsuit, it seems certain Lloyd’s will resist paying up until after the Conrad Murray trial, due to take place in September, especially as Murray’s legal reps have indicated they might claim Jackson administered the lethal shot of propofol himself, maybe in a bid to commit suicide, a fact which would presumably also have the potential to void any insurance policy.

AEG, of course, recovered a sizable part of the money it had invested in ‘This Is It’ at the time of Jackson’s death – the majority of which wasn’t insured at all – by turning backstage footage of rehearsals for the show into the ‘This Is It’ movie.