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The verdict in the Michael Jackson wrongful death civil lawsuit against concert promoter AEG will be announced today.
The Associated Press and CNN have confirmed that the jury of six men and six women have reached a verdict. It will be read at 6:30 p.m. ET. The jury has been deliberating since Sept. 26, following last week’s closing arguments.
UPDATED: NBC News has confirmed that AEG was found not liable in Jackson's death.
The trial began back in April. Katherine Jackson, the “Thriller” singer’s mother, is suing AEG Live, claiming that it was negligent by hiring Dr. Conrad Murray for Jackson. Murray was later convicted for involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jackson’s 2009 death. The singer died following an overdose of the drug propofol.
AEG denies the allegations, claiming that it did not hire Murray.
As the trial continued, more and more information about Jackson’s private life came out. Katherine herself testified, as did Jackson’s ex-wife, Debbie Rowe. Rowe told the jury about how Jackson had depended on doctors and medication and feared pain. There was also testimony from accountant Arthur Erk, who claimed that Jackson would have been able to make as much as $1 billion if he lived and toured until he was 65.
The 21-week trial will end with the jury deciding if AEG really was responsible for hiring Murray. AEG’s lawyers pointed out that Murray had been treating jackson for three years as a family physician, notes CNN. They also portrayed Jackson as a person who kept his drug addictions secret, so they couldn’t have known that Murray would have been a risky choice.
But the Jackson family lawyers had evidence - including a ‘smoking gun’ email - showing that AEG had a separate contract with Murray to treat Jackson.
AEG was set to promote Jackson’s This Is It shows, which would have served as a comeback attempt for the singer.
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