Michael Jackson's mother can sue promoters, court rules

03/02/11

Katherine Jackson

Michael Jackson's mother can go ahead with a lawsuit claiming the promoters of his This Is It tour were responsible for his death, an LA judge has ruled.

Katherine Jackson's suit argues that AEG Live pushed the singer too far in "gruelling rehearsals".

Jacko was due to perform 50 comeback concerts at the O2 Arena in London.

His mother also claims AEG were responsible for hiring the doctor who is accused of the singer's manslaughter.

AEG had argued the case shouldn't be heard as Jackson was responsible for his own health.

Michael Jackson
Image caption Michael Jackson died in June 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest

Jackson's mother filed the lawsuit in September 2010 on behalf of herself and the star's three children, Prince Michael, Michael Junior and Paris-Michael Katherine.

She claims AEG ignored signs of physical stress which the singer showed in the months before his death, and that he was cold and shivering during the summer rehearsals for the tour.

'Gruelling schedule'

"AEG insisted that he attend every rehearsal in a gruelling schedule, threatening that if he missed even one more they would cancel the tour," Mrs Jackson said.

But entertainment giants AEG said nobody could have predicted that Jackson was going to die, or what Dr Conrad Murray's actions would have been.

The company's lawyers said the singer himself had hired Dr Murray, who goes on trial in March 2011 for involuntary manslaughter.

"Michael Jackson was not helpless or incompetent," they said.

'Final curtain'

But the judge dismissed their claims, setting a new court date of 22 March 2011.

He said: "The question is did Michael Jackson witness the negligence and did he understand what was going on?"

Jackson died in June 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol, along with other sedatives and painkillers.

The first of his sold out This Is It dates had been scheduled for the following month.

When he made a brief appearance in the UK to launch the tour, Jackson himself said the shows would serve as a "final curtain".