In this week’s Justice is Served, we discuss the latest entertainment legal news, starting with our Case of the Week: Jackson vs. AEG Live. After hearing testimony from 58 witnesses over 83 days, spanning 21 weeks, jurors finally began deliberating Thursday.
In closing arguments, AEG Live’s attorney asked jurors to find Michael Jackson responsible for his own death, not the company that promoted his comeback concert. “Plaintiffs want you to hold a concert promoter liable for Michael Jackson’s overdose in his bedroom at night, behind locked doors on June 25, 2009. An overdose of the drug administered to Mr. Jackson by his longtime doctor — Dr. Murray — who he’d been seeing for years, a doctor he brought to Los Angeles from Las Vegas.” He went on to say, “Mr. Jackson spent decades shopping for doctors to give him the painkillers he wanted. Mr. Jackson made sure we didn’t know that. The sad truth is Mr. Jackson’s death was caused by his choices and it would have happened no matter what — with or without AEG Live.”
Meanwhile, Jackson family attorney Brian Panish suggested that Jackson’s share of blame was 20%, but the rest goes on AEG. “How dare they come up here and accept no responsibility and blame it all on Michael,” Panish said. Jackson did use prescription painkillers and was warned that using propofol at home to sleep was risky, “but he never had a problem until Dr. Conrad Murray was working and until Conrad Murray negotiated with AEG Live.”
Panish urged jurors to award the family between $1 billion and $2 billion in damages for what he called AEG Live’s share of liability in Jackson’s death — to replace what Jackson would have earned touring, had he lived, and for the personal suffering from the loss of a son and father. On Justice is Served, my co-host and I discuss Panish’s strategy behind admitting Jackson was 20% to blame for his death.
We also discuss several cases in On The Docket, including the NFL’s lawsuit against rapper MIA for flipping the bird during Madonna’s Super Bowl Performance two years ago, Kanye West’s claim of self-defense against a paparazzo suing him for an attack at LAX airport in July, and a series of proposed California laws to help curb embarrassing online posts. Watch the show above and leave your comments below. And be sure to tune into Justice is Served every Friday at 10 am PST on Black Hollywood Live.