Closing arguments near end in Jackson lawsuit
AEG Live lead attorney Marvin Putnam a delivers his closing arguments in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial in Los Angeles, Wednesday Sept. 25, 2013. The singer's family has sued the entertainment firm, saying the company negligently hired and supervised Conrad Murray, the doctor who administered the dose of propofol that killed Jackson.(AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Irfan Khan, Pool)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The company producing Michael Jackson's "This Is It" comeback concerts was a money-making machine run by executives who did not care about the star's well-being, a lawyer told jurors Thursday.
Attorney Brian Panish used his rebuttal argument in the negligence case to urge the jury to find that AEG Live hired Dr. Conrad Murray to be Jackson's physician without considering whether he was fit for the job.
Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter after giving Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid as Jackson fought chronic insomnia.
The case is expected to go to the jury later in the day.
Panish focused on emails between AEG executives referring to Jackson wanting Murray to care for him during the concerts in London. He also showed jurors details of a contract drafted by AEG but only signed by Murray. He said it proved that AEG wanted to control the doctor.
Brian Panish, attorney for the Michael Jackson family delivers his closing argument to jurors in a packed courtroom in downtown Los Angeles, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Panish asked a Los Angeles jury to act as the conscience of the community and award damages for the loss of the pop star's life. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Al Seib, POOL)
The contention came a day after a lawyer for AEG Live told jurors that Jackson was the architect of his own demise and no one else can be blamed. Defense attorney Marvin Putnam said Jackson insisted on hiring the cardiologist, despite objections from AEG Live.
The company told Jackson there were great doctors in London but the singer would not be deterred, Putnam said.
"It was his money and he certainly wasn't going to take no for an answer," he said, explaining Murray was secretly giving the star intravenous doses of propofol, a drug not meant to be used outside operating rooms.
Putnam portrayed AEG Live and its executives as victims of deception by Jackson and Murray. He showed brief excerpts from the "This Is It" documentary to show that Jackson appeared in top form just 12 hours before he died.
"AEG Live did not have a crystal ball," he said. "Dr. Murray and Mr. Jackson fooled everyone. They want to blame AEG for something no one saw."