Michael Jackson fans win one euro for emotional damage

Fans grieve outside the rented Holmby Hills home of music legend Michael Jackson after his recent death, in Los Angeles on 29 June 2009.Image source, MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
Many Michael Jackson fans were left devastated by the singer's sudden death in 2009

Five Michael Jackson fans have been awarded one euro each by a French court for the "emotional damage" they suffered after the pop star's death.

The case saw 34 fans sue Jackson's doctor, who was jailed in 2011 for the involuntary manslaughter of the singer.

The court in Orleans ruled five fans had proven emotional suffering.

Conrad Murray served two years of a four-year term for administering a lethal dose of an anaesthetic drug to Jackson and was released in October.

Last month a US court rejected a bid by Murray to have his conviction for involuntary manslaughter overturned.

Symbolic damages

The five claimants - two from France, two from Switzerland and one from Belgium - were all members of the French-based Michael Jackson Community fan club.

Their lawyer said they had proven their suffering "with the help of witness statements and medical certificates."

"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," Emmanuel Ludot told the AFP news agency.

"They have been subjected to ridicule and I am delighted their suffering has been taken seriously by the law."

The damages were symbolic, he added, and the claimants would not be seeking to claim the one euro each from Conrad Murray.

The five fans say they hope the ruling will help them gain access to Michael Jackson's grave in Los Angeles, which is closed to the public.

Michael Jackson died on 25 June 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol.

He had been out of the public eye for several years but was preparing for a series of comeback performances at the O2 arena in London.