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Appeals court rejects Jacksons’ latest bid to make AEG liable for Michael’s death

By | Published on Monday 2 February 2015

Michael Jackson

No surprise here really, given the appeal judges hearing this case seemed to get very close indeed to asking lawyers representing the claimants “what the fuck?”

California’s Court Of Appeals ruled against the Jackson family on Friday in their latest attempt to hold AEG Live liable for the death of Michael Jackson in 2009, on the grounds it was paying for the services of the doctor convicted of causing the late king of pop’s demise through negligent treatment.

As previously reported, in their second attempt to overturn a 2013 ruling that went in AEG’s favour, the Jackson’s legal team argued last month that the jury in the original trial were given misleading information by the judge, and that he incorrectly dismissed some of the claims against the live music firm before the court case began.

But after the Jacksons’ lawyers retold the events that occurred prior to Jackson’s death – the hiring of Dr Conrad Murray and his administration of the surgical drug propofol at the pop star’s house as a cure for insomnia – one appeal judge reportedly exclaimed “what is the fault of AEG in this? I’m just lost in all of this”.

Given the questions asked by said judges, it was no surprise on Friday when the Jacksons’ appeal was rejected. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the appeals court ruled: “AEG did not owe Michael a duty to refrain from exerting pressure over Dr Murray, AEG did not undertake to provide protective services to Michael, and AEG owed Michael no duty arising out of the contract with Dr Murray”.

They went on: “The undisputed facts establish that Dr Murray was an independent contractor as a matter of law, AEG is not liable under the peculiar risk doctrine as an independent contractor and Dr Murray is not an agent of AEG”.

Even before last week’s ruling, the Jacksons’ legal team had indicated that their clients intended to take the case to the Californian Supreme Court if unsuccessful this time.