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Jackson family civil suit against AEG

TRIAL OF THE CENTURY—THE SEQUEL: A Page One headline in the L. A. Times says it clearly: “Jackson spotlight turns to family’s civil suit vs. AEG.” The lead paragraph adds the requisite drama: “With the conviction this week of Michael Jackson's doctor on an involuntary manslaughter charge, the question of blame in the pop star's death shifts to a new and much wealthier defendant: Los Angeles entertainment behemoth Anschutz Entertainment Group.” The wrongful death suit involves many of the same issues as the criminal trial: propofol, Jackson's performance anxiety and the medical choices of Dr. Conrad Murray. But the proceedings are expected to delve into areas the criminal judge barred as irrelevant to Murray's role, including Jackson's finances and years of drug problems. "The conviction of Dr. Murray is just the beginning of bringing forth the truth on what happened to Michael Jackson," said Brian Panish, an attorney for the Jackson family. "Forces much larger than Dr. Murray were involved in this tragedy… We believe the evidence shows that there is much more involvement from AEG, and that Murray's a minor player." Earlier this year, Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos threw out some portions of the Jacksons' suit, including allegations of fraud and negligent infliction of emotional distress on the singer's children. But she ruled that the remainder of the claims—including breach of contract and negligence in hiring Murray—could go forward on the theory that Jackson "was particularly vulnerable and dependent" on AEG. (11/9a)

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