LA jury reaches verdict in Michael Jackson wrongful death lawsuit

Reuters
Brian Panish, attorney for the Michael Jackson family delivers his closing argument to jurors in packed courtroom in Los Angeles
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Brian Panish, attorney for the Michael Jackson family delivers his closing argument to jurors in a packed …

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles jury reached a verdict on Wednesday in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of pop singer Michael Jackson against concert promoter AEG Live, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Superior Court said.

The verdict, which will be read at 3:30 p.m. PT (2230 GMT), caps a five-month trial that opened a window into the singer's private life and final days.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, and his three children sued AEG Live over the singer's 2009 death at age 50 in Los Angeles from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol.

The family alleged that privately held AEG Live negligently hired Conrad Murray as Jackson's personal physician and ignored signs that the singer was in poor health prior to his death.

The verdict, which will determine whether AEG Live negligently hired Murray, could have far-reaching implications and shake up the business model for how the live entertainment industry does business with its biggest stars.

Jackson family lawyers have suggested in court documents that damages could exceed $1 billion if AEG Live is found liable.

Murray, who was caring for Jackson as the singer rehearsed for his series of 50 comeback "This Is It" concerts, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for administering the propofol that killed the star.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey and Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Bob Burgdorfer)

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