Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos has turned down AEG’s request for dismissal of Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit, claiming that AEG is responsible for Murray’s medical decisions.
The lawsuit filed on September 15th on behalf of Katherine Jackson and Michael’s three children, suggests Michael was forced to maintain a gruelling rehearsal schedule for his planned ‘This Is It,’ concerts in London, and was showing signs of physical stress, in the months before his June 25th 2009 death.
The judge said she had doubts about a conspiracy claim in the suit, because there were no details in the complaint, stating AEG Live and Murray had an agreement to do something unlawful, City News Service reported.
“If the object was to get him to rehearsals, I don’t see that as a wrongful or an illegal act,” Judge Palazuelos said.
Attorneys for AEG Live have said, Michael made his own medical decisions and hired Murray to accompany him on the tour. Attorney Marvin S. Putnam, who represents AEG Live, argued that his clients could not have realized Murray’s decisions would lead to Michael’s death.
“It’s not foreseeable that Michael Jackson or anyone else was going to die in their own home of Propofol,” Putnam said.
A coroner found that Michael died of an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic, combined with other drugs he was using to induce sleep. Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit claims the star was cold and shivering during the summer rehearsals for his show, while others were perspiring from the heat. She claims he was told by AEG to stop taking medication, and that if he missed even one rehearsal the tour would be cancelled.
The suit also claims Michael’s eldest son, Prince Michael, suffered, “great trauma and severe emotional distress,” when he saw his father suffering on the day he died. The judge commented, “The question is, did he witness the negligence and did he understand what was going on?”
She gave the plaintiffs’ lawyers twenty days to amend their complaint and set a case management conference for March 22nd 2011.