Business News Jacksons v AEG Timeline Legal Live Business

Jacksons suing AEG for $40 billion

By | Published on Monday 18 March 2013

AEG Live

Katherine Jackson and the children of Michael Jackson are suing AEG Live for a cool $40 billion according to TMZ, which says it has seen legal papers where the Jackson family set out the damages they consider they are due should their legal spat with the live music firm succeed.

As previously reported, the Jacksons argue that AEG Live – promoter of Michael Jackson’s ill-fated ‘This Is It’ show – is liable for the singer’s death because it hired and managed Dr Conrad Murray, the medic convicted of causing the late king of pop’s demise through negligent treatment. AEG counters that Jackson himself chose Murray and was the doctor’s day-to-day manager, and therefore it is not liable for his actions.

Although AEG managed to get some of the Jackson family’s other claims removed from the lawsuit, the core claim of negligence for hiring Murray remains, and the case is now heading for court in what could be a very dramatic trial, given the correspondence between AEG and various people involved in the ‘This Is It’ venture that is likely to be analysed as part of the proceedings.

The somewhat ambitious (to put it lightly) $40 billion damages claim appears in legal documents apparently seen by TMZ. The breakdown of the damages claim includes $10 billion for Jackson’s children based on what they seemingly believe their late father could have earned had the ‘This Is It’ project gone ahead as planned, with the fifty night London residency leading into a world tour.

To put the claim in perspective, the absolute upper valuation of the entire AEG business while owners Anschutz Inc were considering a sale of the company recently was $10 billion. AEG has already called the $40 billion claim “preposterous”, adding that Jackson’s career was in a downwards spiral in the last few years of his life, making the estimates of his future earning potential vastly over the mark.

Indeed if you were being brutal, while obviously there is a case for significant damages for the emotional harm caused to family members by Jackson’s premature demise, in terms of lost income, the earning potential of the Michael Jackson legacy is arguably much higher than with any of the business projects the singer was involved in towards the end of his life.

Quite how judges respond to the family’s claim remains to be seen. Few expect anything like that kind of pay out even if the Jackson’s win in court.