Michael Jackson wrongful death trial: Expert weighs in on what's ahead

Katherine Jackson, mother of the late pop star Michael Jackson, files out of court during the manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray.
April 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A big legal showdown begins Monday morning over the death of pop star Michael Jackson.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, wants a jury to find concert promoter AEG responsible for the singer's death. The trial is expected to offer a revealing look at the singer's private life and prescription drug abuse.

Celebrities and members of the pop superstar's family - including his two oldest children, Prince and Paris - may be called on to testify.

"I think that the judge has permitted both parties, including the defense, to put on evidence about Michael Jackson's life from earlier years, dealing with the molestation charges, dealing with his problems financially," said Barry Edwards, a legal analyst.

Attorneys representing the singer's mother will try to prove that AEG Live, which was the promoter of Jackson's 2009 comeback concerts, should be held responsible for his death. Jackson died from a fatal dose of sedatives and the anesthetic propofol.

Jackson's physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He had administered drugs to Jackson repeatedly to help him sleep as the singer prepared for the concerts.

AEG says Murray was Jackson's choice.

"It's going to be AEG's position that they neither hired him nor did they control him," Edwards said.

Edwards says Katherine Jackson's attorneys will have to convince the jury on some key issues.

"That he was due a duty of care by AEG pursuant to the contract that they had with Michael Jackson and that they're going to have to show that AEG and their officers negligently breached that duty," Edwards said.

The high-profile trial seeks $40 billion in damages and could last three months.

After 13 days of jury selection, six men and six women were selected from a pool of more than 100 candidates. The jurors include a personal banker, a nurse, a software engineer and a teacher.


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