Fan club members were devastated by pop star's death in 2009, rules court
A French court has awarded five Michael Jackson fans one euro each in damages after they claimed they had been left devastated by the singer’s death.
As the BBC reports, 34 fans of the late pop singer had filed a lawsuit against his doctor Conrad Murray, who was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter. A court in Orelans, France has now ruled that five of the Jackson-obsessives had proven that they suffered “emotional damage” after his death.
The five claimants, who were all members of Jackson’s Community fan club, had used “witness statements and medical certificates” to prove their suffering, their lawyer claimed. Speaking to AFP, Emmauel Ludot said: “As far as I know this is the first time in the world that the notion of emotional damage in connection with a pop star has been recognised. They have been subjected to ridicule and I am delighted their suffering has been taken seriously by the law.”
Ludot said that the damages awarded were symbolic, and that the claimants would not be seeking the reparations from Murray. However, the fans – two of whom are from France, two from Switzerland and one Belgian – hope that they will now be given permission to visit Jackson’s grave in LA, which is currently closed to the public.
In January of this year, a California court upheld Murray’s conviction for the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson. Murray, who was released from prison last October, continued to protest his innocence and claimed the singer had killed himself by accidentally overdosing on surgical anaesthetic propofol but a 68-page ruling from the court declared that there was substantial evidence Murray had administered the lethal dose that killed Jackson.
Jackson’s mother Katherine, meanwhile, was recently denied a new trial in her wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG. She had accused the promoter of showing negligence when it hired Murray to look after her son. A judge rejected her bid for a new trial last Friday (January 10).