Jacksons v AEG Timeline Legal

Mrs Jackson sues AEG, Jacko doc sues Jacko doc

By | Published on Thursday 16 September 2010

According to TMZ, Katherine Jackson has finally got round to suing AEG Live in relation to the death of her son Michael while he was, essentially, in their employ.

According to the gossip site, Mrs Jackson, who is suing on behalf of herself and Jacko’s three children, believes that AEG should take responsibility for the actions of Dr Conrad Murray, the medic accused of killing the singer by negligently administering a serious anaesthetic drug as a cure for insomnia. Murray was hired by the live music conglom to care for Jackson while he was working on their planned ‘This Is It’ London residency.

The lawsuit says that AEG’s contract with Jackson “created a legal duty for AEG to act reasonably toward the physical well-being of Michael” and that, in hiring Murray, “AEG did not provide a doctor who was truly looking out for Jackson’s well-being and did not provide equipment”. The lawsuit, which also names ‘This Is It’ producer Kenny Ortega as a defendant, adds that Michael’s son Prince was caused emotional distress because he was present while his father died.

TMZ quote the lawyer working for the Jacksons on this case, Brian J Panish, as saying: “The purpose of this lawsuit is to prove to the world the truth about what happened to Michael Jackson, once and for all”.

As previously reported, Michael’s father Joe Jackson is suing Conrad Murray direct over his alleged role in the late king of pop’s death. Mrs Jackson’s lawsuit is possibly targeting AEG because, at the end of the day, they’ve got a lot more money than the doctor, who would probably have to declare himself bankrupt if any court awarded Mr Jackson megabucks in damages. Murray, of course, denies acting negligently while caring for Michael Jackson; his guilt or not will be assessed when the criminal case against him reaches court.

Talking of the Doc, he’s just initiated his own bit of litigation. He is suing Dr Arnold Klein, Michael’s longtime physician, friend and, according to some rumours, the biological father of at least two of the singer’s kids. Again according to TMZ, Murray basically says it was Klein who got Jackson hooked on dangerous prescription drugs through a long period of over-medicating the singer, the implication being that had Klein not done so, Murray would not have found himself in the situation where his patient was demanding a shot of the anaesthetic propofol to help him sleep. He also alleges that one of the reasons AEG hired him in the first place was because of concerns about how much medication Klein seemed to be prescribing to the singer.

In a complicated bit of litigation, Murray basically wants Klein to be added as a defendant to Joe Jackson’s aforementioned wrongful death lawsuit. He points out that in the wording of that lawsuit, Jackson Senior’s lawyers make various allegations against Klein – including the line “AEG Live read Michael Jackson the proverbial ‘riot act’ to get him to stop subjecting himself to overmedication by Dr Arnold Klein” – but then Arnie is not named as a defendant himself. Murray’s lawsuit concludes: “The plaintiff [Joe Jackson] does not explain why, given these allegations, Dr Arnold Klein is not a required party to be added to accord proper relief”.

Finally in Jacko news, the Californian cemetery where the singer is interred have reportedly introduced a three dollar fee for anyone wanting to leave flowers at the king of pop’s graveside. Fans who make pilgrimages to the Forest Lawn Cemetery aren’t actually allowed in the mausoleum where the singer’s body lays. Previously there was a staged area outside where presents could be left but, according to TMZ again, that has now been removed and fans have instead been told that staff will take flowers – but only flowers – inside the mausoleum in return for a three dollar payment.

It’s not clear if the new fee system is really designed to deter fans from leaving tat at their hero’s grave, or whether it is actually intended to raise funds. There were reports earlier in the year that cemetery bosses were considering stopping fans from getting too close to the mausoleum because of the costs of clearing up litter and graffiti. Perhaps the new ‘leaving gifts fee’ can pay for that cleaning up.