In October 2011, the Connecticut Post reported that Michael’s children and his mother had reached out to a Bridgeport lawyer for help, in their wrongful death lawsuit against Michael’s concert promoter. Read here.
Attorney Michael Koskoff joined the legal team representing Katherine Jackson, Michael’s mother, and his three children against AEG Live, the company that was producing his planned tour, and other defendants, according to papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Koskoff is a principal of the law firm Koskoff, Koskoff and Bieder in Bridgeport and has practiced law in Connecticut for more than 30 years. The firm, which additionally has offices in Stamford, Danbury and New Haven, has specialized in malpractice cases and typically gets much of its work from other law firms.
According to the law firm’s website, “KK&B is proud to say that 70 percent of the firm’s cases come to us through other attorneys who refer serious personal injury and medical malpractice cases to us because of our experience and record of achievement.”
In February, a Superior Court judge ruled the wrongful death case could proceed, but made it clear the plaintiffs would need to show evidence of fraud, negligent infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy.
Now in April 2013, Michael Koskoff is in L.A. working with three of his firm’s attorneys, Bill Bloss, Alinor Sterling and Carey Reilly. They’re part of the legal team that is going to argue that the concert promoter, AEG Live Inc., was negligent in its hiring and supervising of Dr. Conrad Murray. In theory, Murray was supposed to be caring for Michael, but instead administered a fatal dose of the surgical anesthetic Propofol.
Koskoff, & Bieder focuses on medical malpractice cases. Koskoff said he was contacted by Brian Panish, an attorney with close ties to the Jackson family.
“I know Brian and he’s a great personal injury lawyer, and since there are aspects that relate to medical malpractice, they asked us to join them,” Koskoff said.
Koskoff declined to speak in detail about the information he might try to get from witnesses, saying, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on the evidence at this stage.”
However, it appears that the team might get substantial time in front of the jury. After all, there are 16 medical witnesses slated to testify on behalf of the Jackson family. There are 12 additional medical witnesses that the defense expects to call. Two of the witnesses — a psychiatrist and an addiction specialist — are from Connecticut. Other witnesses include cardiologists, pathologists, anesthesiologists, and pain management specialists.
Also on the list is Murray, the doctor who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 and is serving a four-year term for administering the drugs that killed Michael. Prosecutors at his trial said that he used the surgical anesthetic propofol to put him to sleep in, “a reckless, obscene manner.”
On April 23, the parties finished choosing the jury. Opening statements are slated to begin today. Koskoff expects the trial to last two to three months.
Potential witnesses include Oprah Winfrey, Motown diva Diana Ross, legendary music producer Quincy Jones and Michael’s family, including his mother, Katherine, sister Janet, and brothers Jermaine and Randy.
And here’s a little extra spice, “It’s in the same courthouse as the O. J. trial,” said Bridgeport attorney Michael Koskoff. “It’s going to be a very interesting trial.”