Jackson family lawsuit blames AEG for Michael's death

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Jackson family lawsuit blames AEG for Michael's death

Wed Sep 15, 2010 @ 05:59PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Jackson,michaelbye Michael Jackson's family has sued AEG Live claiming the event production company is responsible for Jackson's death.

Here's the complaint, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court by Katherine Jackson on behalf of the family. The lawsuit claims AEG, president and CEO Tim Leiweke, Anschutz Entertainment and others are responsible for Jackson's death because his contract with AEG for the planned "This Is It" tour created a legal duty to keep him healthy.  

"By the nature of their contractual, joint-venture, and special relationship, AEG had legal duties to Michael Jackson to treat him safely and to not put him in harms' way," the lawsuit alleges. "But AEG, despite its knowledge of Michael Jackson's physical condition, breached those duties by putting its desire for massive profits from the tour over the health and safety of Michael Jackson."

The Jackson family says AEG was negligent in insisting that Jackson drop his own doctor and use Dr. Conrad Murray, hired by AEG to care for Jackson in advance of the concerts. Murray allegedly administered Propofol without necessary resuscitation equipment or nursing support, and Jackson died with the drug in his system. 

Kenny Ortega, director of the "This Is It" tour, is also named as a defendant. We've reached out to AEG for comment and will update with a response.

The complaint for unspecified damages alleges causes of action for breach of contract, negligent hiring, training and supervision, fraud and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The family is repped by Brian Panish at Panish Shea Boyle, who released a statement saying "The purpose of this lawsuit is to prove to the world the truth about what happened to Michael Jackson, once and for all."

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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