A verdict has been reached in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon. Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson's mother, brought the case against concert promoter AEG Live, which was producing the singer's London comeback concert tour, according to USA Today on Oct. 2.
The key question about who hired Dr. Conrad Murray was settled in favor of the Jackson family, but, the jury also found the doctor competent at that time he was hired so AEG is not responsible for damages to the singer's family.
The fact that the jury ruled AEG Live did hire Conrad Murray was huge, according to TMZ. However when the jury then ruled on the question of Conrad Murray's competence, saying he was not unfit to treat Jackson, that was the death knell in Katherine Jackson's and the children's case.
The jury of six men and six women reported reaching a verdict on their third day of deliberations, following five months of bitterly contested testimony. Only nine of the 12 jurors needed to agree as a unanimous verdict was not a requirement in the civil trial.
Jackson died in June 2009 from an overdose of the drug propofol, which is used in hospitals as anesthesia for patients during surgery. Michael's personal doctor, Conrad Murray, was found guilty in of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death in 2011.
Murray had administered the lethal dose of propofol as a sleep aid, though he contends Jackson overdosed when he left his bedroom to take a phone call.
The question of whether Jackson or AEG was responsible for hiring Murray during his comeback concerts was at the heart wrongful death negligence claim.
AEG contended they were pressured by Jackson into hiring Conrad Murray to be his personal physician for the tour, however the employment contract was between just the doctor and the concert promoter.
The Jackson family portrayed AEG Live as a money-making machine, that only cared about how much money Michael could make for them. They even introduced an email in which AEG execs refer to Michael as "the freak".
They allege AEG shared responsibility for hiring Murray without knowing if he was a competent doctor fit for the job. Brian Panish, attorney for Mrs. Jackson, believes AEG should pay millions in damages for Michael's death.
He had said they should pay Michael's mother $35 million, and $85 million to each of Jackson's three children. The money would be a pittance compared to their claims that had he lived, he could have earned $1.5 billion during the rest of his life.
Even though the jury did find AEG responsible for hiring the doctor, since Conrad was deemed fit and competent at that time, there is no responsibility for Jackson's death on the part of the giant concert promoter.