October 6, 2013 11:30

Michael Jackson's mum likely to appeal AEG verdict

Katherine Jackson wants to appeal the verdict in the wrongful death trial, according to family lawyer

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Katherine Jackson, the mother of the late pop star Michael Jackson, is likely to appeal the verdict of her wrongful death lawsuit against AEG Live.

The 83-year-old is confident that she and her lawyers have enough information to appeal the decision passed down by a US judge in the recent trial, according to lead lawyer Brian Panish.

He told the New York Daily News : "She isn’t throwing in the towel. She feels that the jurors ended the trial really liking Michael. We can’t give up until we gather all the information. Today is another chapter."

Panish and his team of lawyers have 30 days to consider appealing the decision that AEG Live were not responsible for the death of Michael Jackson. Last week, after a five-month trial and 14-hour deliberation, a jury of six men and six women concluded that the doctor looking after Jackson ahead of his concert tour was not unfit for his job.

Katherine Jackson filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the promoters of Jackson's O2 Arena concerts, which he was rehearsing for at the time of his death on June 25, 2009. Jackson's mother claimed that AEG Live were negligent in hiring Dr Conrad Murray, who was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for giving Jackson an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol. She was seeking costs of around £985m.

Delivering the verdict, jury foreman Gregg Barden said that although they found Dr Murray to be not unfit or incompetent for the job, "That doesn't mean we felt he was ethical."

AEG Live executive Randy Phillips, who testified at the trial, expressed relief at the verdict. "I counted Michael Jackson a creative partner and a friend," he said. "We lost one of the world's greatest musical geniuses, but I am relieved and deeply grateful that the jury recognised that neither I, nor anyone else at AEG Live, played any part in Michael's tragic death."

Throughout the trial, the promoters maintained that Murray was hired at the request of Jackson himself, and that they had no knowledge of the singer's drug dependency. AEG's lead lawyer, Marvin S Putnam, said: "I couldn't be more pleased with the way the jury came out. They got it exactly right."

The lawyer representing Jackson's 83-year-old mother, who was present at the verdict, said the family were "of course… not happy with the result as it stands now. We will be exploring all options legally and factually and make a decision about anything at a later time".

Conrad Murray is due to be released later this month after serving two years in jail.

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