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After 80 days of testimony and thirteen hours of deliberation over four days, a jury has finally reached a decision about the Michael Jackson wrongful death suit. They found concert promoter AIG Live not liable for Michael Jackson's death. Jackson's mother Katherine and his three children wanted AIG to pay up to $1.5 billion, their estimate of what Jackson would have earned had he stayed alive. What the case came down to was the competency of the doctor overseeing Jackson's health, Dr. Conrad Murray.
The jury agreed that Dr. Murray had been hired by AIG to oversee Jackson's health. That would imply that they were somewhat responsible... if they had known Dr. Murray to be incompetent. But why would AIG hire an incompetent doctor to oversee a pop star that stood to make them millions of dollars on a comeback tour?
That was AIG's defense. Their lawyers painted Jackson as a drug addict who deceived the people around him to get his fix. He was uncontrollable. The Jackson family's lawyers, on the other hand, painted AIG as ruthless and greedy, willing to run Jackson down just to squeeze whatever last profits they could from him.
Who can blame Jackson's children for wanting to hold someone responsible for their father's tragic death. They made a terrible gamble, sacrificing their privacy and sitting through testimony that often trashed their father. Apparently AIG wasn't responsible for Jackson's death, but I can't say that the pop star was fully responsible for his death, either. I think in order to tease out all the threads leaving to Jackson's messy, untimely death, you would have to go much farther back than the events of 2009. You might have to go all the way back to his childhood, maybe beyond.
Do you agree with the jury's verdict in the Michael Jackson wrongful death suit?
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