Jacksons to seek $40bn over 'wrongful death'
THE family of Michael Jackson go to court tomorrow to seek a staggering $40bn (€31bn) in damages in what would be one of the biggest wrongful death settlements in history.
It is nearly four years since the singer was found dead in his Beverly Hills mansion, with a lethal dose of the prescription anaesthetic Propofol in his veins, but the bitter recriminations over who was responsible are about to get even nastier.
The incompetence of Conrad Murray, Jackson's physician, who has already been convicted of involuntary manslaughter, was the direct cause of his death.
But the star's family, led by 82-year-old matriarch Katherine Jackson, will spend the next three months trying to prove that the overall fault lay with AEG Live, a corporate behemoth that was bank- rolling his comeback concerts at the O2 Arena in London.
In the Jackson family's eyes, Murray was merely a pawn whose mistakes were symptomatic of the lack of care shown by a promoter blinded by dollar signs.
Nothing will be off limits in court.
Jackson's medical records will be disclosed to prove the depth of his dependence on drugs, and AEG Live lawyers will point to his child molestation trial and acquittal in 2005 as the starting point of a drug-induced downward spiral.
The arguments will centre primarily on whether AEG Live, or Jackson himself, was responsible for employing the negligent Murray.
The $40bn figure is based on the Jackson family's assessment of the performer's potential future earnings, had he lived.
AEG Live calls the amount a "preposterous dream" for a singer in decline.
Should the Jackson family succeed in their lawsuit, an award of only a few billion is considered a more likely outcome.