Katherine Jackson claims the company negligently hired the doctor later convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the singer’s death and failed to oversee him. She and the singer’s two eldest children are expected to testify about the singer’s last days.
Legal rulings by Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos anticipated a three-month trial that will revisit events preceding the singer’s death from an anesthetic overdose in 2009.
Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of manslaughter for administering the drug propofol, is not named in the lawsuit. But the judge agreed to allow him to be brought to court from jail to testify outside the jury’s presence. He has said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify. But lawyers said he could possibly talk about non-criminal issues.
The judge said jury selection would begin April 2 and attorneys estimated the search for a panel could be long and difficult because of the notoriety of the parties and the estimated length of the trial.
The judge granted several plaintiff’s motions and rejected a few.
Katherine Jackson’s attorney, Kevin Boyle, argued that “There is nothing more prejudicial than dropping that bomb in court, mentioning child molestation.”
She wouldn’t permit AEG lawyers to ask questions about possible discord in the marriage of Katherine and Joe Jackson and she barred any inquiry into the identity of the biological parents of Jackson’s three children.
During arguments, the question arose of why Katherine Jackson did not sue Murray. Attorneys disclosed that Jackson’s son Prince and his daughter, Paris, testified in depositions that they believed Murray was “a good person” and didn’t want him sued. But Katherine Jackson, who had the decision, testified it was financial, they said.
The judge said AEG could have sued Murray as well.