MTV News reports that almost five years after pop star Michael Jackson’s death, his family is prepared to go to trial against his touring company. Michael Jackson’s mother and children are suing AEG Live for wrongful death. They allege that the touring company was negligent in pressuring Jackson’s doctor into giving him pain medication which caused his death.
Michael Jackson is one of the best-selling pop stars in history. Jackson died on June 25, 2009 due to high amounts of prescription drugs in his system which led to a heart attack. His doctor was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for his role in the singer’s death and is currently in prison.
Authorities alleged that the doctor violated his professional duties to the singer and by giving him dangerous amounts of powerful sedatives. The singer’s family alleges that Dr. Conrad Murray was scared of losing his $150,000 per month salary from Jackson’s touring company if he did not make sure the fragile singer was prepared for rehearsal.
MTV News reports that the Jackson family’s case rests on an email sent by AEG Live’s CEO Paul Gongaware about two weeks before the singer’s death. The email reminds Dr. Murray “who is paying his salary” and “what is expected of him.”
Wrongful death lawsuits typically involve damages such as loss of affection and lost future earnings of the deceased. In this case, Michael Jackson’s earning potential was so great that the touring company may be on the hook for billions of dollars if it loses.