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Thread: Jacksons vs AEG - Closing Statements / Jury Deliberations - News Only (no discussion)

   
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    Default Jacksons vs AEG - Closing Statements / Jury Deliberations - News Only (no discussion)

    Jacksons vs AEG - September 24/25/26 2013 - News Only (no discussion)

    Use this thread to post any and all news stories from of Katherine Jackson vs. AEG trial.

    Daily news threads are merged into the main News thread in the stickies

    Please help the staff by posting all the news stories as well as tweets from media you see.

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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24 2013 - News Only (no discussion)

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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24 2013 - News Only (no discussion)

    Michael Jackson's family wants $85 million per child from AEG Live
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    AEG-Jackson Trial
    Brian Panish, the attorney for the Michael Jackson's family, delivers his closing argument. (Pool / Getty Images / September 23, 2013)
    By Jeff Gottlieb
    September 24, 2013, 7:09 p.m.
    An attorney for Michael Jackson’s family told jurors Tuesday that concert promoter AEG Live hired the doctor who administered the fatal dose of a powerful anesthetic and that the company now should pay for the singer’s death.

    Brian Panish told jurors that AEG should have to pay non-economic or personal damages of $85 million to each of Jackson’s three children and $35 million to his mother.

    This marked the first time in the nearly five-month-long trial that the Jacksons have placed a number on damages they are seeking from the entertainment company.

    PHOTOS: Michael Jackson | 1958-2009

    Those figures could be dwarfed by the economic damages, however. Panish told jurors they would have to sort that out, but he showed them a slide that reminded the panel that an expert witness testified the singer would have earned $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion if he had lived, from new music, tours, endorsements and a Las Vegas show.

    “We’re not looking for sympathy,” Panish said. “We’re looking for justice, full and complete.”

    Panish, speaking in a much more low-key manner than when he took testimony, quoted Abraham Lincoln and the Book of Exodus during his day-long closing argument.

    He also went straight at the question of Jackson’s culpability in his death. “It’s about shared responsibility,” he said. “Michael probably has some fault.... I’m not going to deny that Michael used prescription drugs and that people told him it’s risky to use propofol.”

    But he said that unless Dr. Conrad Murray, who gave Jackson the anesthetic for 60 days to fight insomina, had been hired by AEG, Jackson would still be alive.

    “No Murray, no AEG, no propofol, Michael’s still here,” he said.

    The Jacksons have sued AEG over Jackson's death, saying the entertainment firm negligently hired and supervised Murray. AEG maintains that the doctor worked for Jackson, and any money the firm was supposed to pay the doctor was an advance to the singer.

    AEG attorneys are set to make closing arguments Wednesday, and the case could be in the jury’s hands by the end of the week.
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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24 2013 - News Only (no discussion)

    Lawyer for Michael Jackson's family: AEG must pay for pop star's death
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    Jackson trial
    Brian Panish, attorney for Michael Jackson's family, delivers his closing argument to jurors in a packed courtroom in downtown Los Angeles.

    By Jeff Gottlieb
    September 24, 2013, 1:29 p.m.
    Quoting from Abraham Lincoln, the Book of Exodus and internal emails from AEG Live, an attorney for Michael Jackson's family told jurors Tuesday that the concert promoter hired the doctor who gave Jackson a fatal dose of a powerful anesthetic and now should have to pay for the pop star’s death.

    After pointing out that AEG put Dr. Conrad Murray in charge of Jackson's rehearsal schedule, attorney Brian Panish said, “Why would a doctor you haven’t hired be responsible for someone working for you to go to practice or rehearsal? Why? Because you hired him, that’s why."

    Panish tried to educate jurors, explaining that unlike in a criminal trial they needed only to find that their claims were more likely true than not for them to find in favor of Michael Jackson's mother and three children.

    WATCH LIVE: Closing arguments in AEG-Jackson trial

    The Jacksons have sued AEG for Jackson's death, saying the entertainment firm negligently hired and supervised Murray. AEG maintains that the doctor worked for Jackson and any money the firm was supposed to pay the doctor was an advance to the singer.

    Panish explained that Murray did not need a written agreement to have a valid contract, that an oral agreement was just as good.

    After not allowing TV cameras in court during the nearly five-month trial, Judge Yvette Palazuelos reversed herself Tuesday. The closing statements already had been moved to a much larger courtroom to accommodate the media crush and a growing number of spectators.

    PHOTOS: Michael Jackson | 1958-2009

    Panish, speaking in a much calmer tone than he used during testimony, tried to turn the words of AEG executives against them, as he had during much of the trial. Panish will finish his closing statement Tuesday afternoon, and attorneys for AEG will have their turn Wednesday.

    Panish quoted experts who said that when Murray closed his Las Vegas practice to take on Jackson as his only patient, asking at first for $5 million, the sum should have immediately raised red flags.

    Murray, who was in dire financial straits, eventually agreed to compensation of $150,000 month, circumstances that experts testified created a conflict between his money needs and his patient's care.

    Panish showed a television interview of AEG Live Chief Executive Randy Phillips, filmed before the lawsuit was filed, talking about Murray.

    “The guy’s willing to leave his practice for a very large sum of money, so we hired him,” Phillips says in the interview.

    “It’s real simple," Panish said. "He’s the CEO of the company, as high as it gets. He admitted it.”
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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24 2013 - News Only (no discussion)

    Michael Jackson trial: Closing arguments focus on AEG liability
    Tuesday, September 24, 2013

    TAGS:legal, celebrity, court case, entertainment
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    By Miriam Hernandez and Subha Ravindhran
    DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Opening statements in the high-profile Michael Jackson wrongful death trial began Tuesday, centering on the "King of Pop" and liability for his death.

    Interest in the case was so high that the judge moved the proceeding to an auditorium-sized courtroom. In the gallery were two of Jackson's nephews, sister Rebbie and his mother Katherine, who filed the lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live.

    "He believed in the good of others even though people didn't believe in the good of Michael," Jackson attorney Brian Panish said during closing arguments.

    Panish made references to the Bible, English history and attempted humor, impersonating an AEG executive. But Panish told the jury that there was nothing funny about what led to Jackson's demise. He argued it was caused by a few factors: the star's dependency on medication when he was stressed; Dr. Conrad Murray, a physician who was broke; and AEG Live, which facilitated a contract to hire Murray.

    "There's no question that AEG wanted the 'King of Pop' in their arena in London," said Panish. "They wanted it so badly that they would do whatever it took to get him on stage, and they told that to Dr. [Conrad] Murray. They told Dr. Murray, 'We want you to have everything you can have.' They knew exactly what he offered - an unlimited supply of prescription medications during the time of the pain, stress and anxiety to get Michael Jackson on stage. They knew that."

    The jury was led through the verdict form, but their answer to the first question will decide whether they should proceed to other questions: Did AEG hire the doctor?

    "They had numerous meetings with Dr. Murray, they called him on the phone, they called him to Michael Jackson's home and they said, 'Stay in your lane Dr. Murray,'" Panish said.

    Calling the credibility of AEG executives into question, Panish played select parts of their testimony as they were asked about a series of emails, with each witness saying, "I don't remember."

    If jurors believe AEG hired Murray, the jury must answer many other questions, including whether the company exercised reasonable care in supervising the doctor.

    About Jackson's habits with medication, the Jackson attorneys concede that the pop idol had a problem, but it only became fatal when money and desperation came into play.

    "What is the one thing that changed? AEG and Murray," Panish said.

    AEG claims it did not hire Murray, that it was Michael Jackson who initially chose Murray to be his doctor and that it was the star's own negligence that contributed to his death.

    If the jurors find that AEG was liable for Michael Jackson's death, attorneys for KatherinE Jackson say the family deserves compensation. In closing arguments, they suggested that the matriarch get what AEG spent as they prepared to stage Jackson's comeback concerts: $35 million for starters. Then the numbers cited by the Jackson family attorney grew as he talked about the children's losses.

    The plaintiffs' total request equals $325 million in noneconomic damages, $1.2 billion in economic damages. That's a total of over $1.5 billion.

    The trial has lasted nearly five months. Jurors have heard from more than 30 witnesses. The closing arguments are expected to last a couple days. Once they are completed, jurors can begin deliberating as early as Thursday.

    Related Content
    STORY: Michael Jackson trial: Jury gets instructions
    STORY: Michael Jackson trial: Testimony wraps up
    STORY: Jackson's insomnia went way back, doctor says
    Katherine Jackson, along with Michael Jackson's three children, are listed as plaintiffs in this lawsuit. They are seeking unspecified damages, but they could receive more than $1 billion. That's how much attorneys say the pop star would have earned from his "This Is It" tour and other movies.

    Because this is a civil trial, only nine of the 12 jurors must agree on a verdict.
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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24 2013 - News Only (no discussion)

    AP/ September 24, 2013, 9:20 PM
    Jackson promoter, doctor accused of seeking payday
    Michael Jackson performs on stage during his "HIStory" world tour concert at Ericsson Stadium on Nov. 10, 1996, in Auckland, New Zealand.
    Michael Jackson performs on stage during his "HIStory" world tour concert at Ericsson Stadium on Nov. 10, 1996, in Auckland, New Zealand. / PHIL WALTER/GETTY IMAGES
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    Updated 9:19 PM ET

    LOS ANGELES A lawyer for Michael Jackson's family on Tuesday portrayed concert promoter AEG Live LLC and Jackson's doctor as mercenaries who sacrificed the pop star's life in a quest to boost their own fortunes.


    21 PHOTOS
    Michael Jackson: 1958-2009
    Attorney Brian Panish made the claims while delivering his closing argument in the long-running negligence case, asking jurors: "Do people do things they shouldn't do for money? People do it every day."

    A $150,000-a-month contract to care for Jackson was a lifeline to help Dr. Conrad Murray climb out of his financial troubles, Panish told jurors, saying the doctor was $500,000 in debt and about to lose his home.

    AEG Live, meanwhile, had only one interest - launching a world tour for the King of Pop that would yield untold millions in profits, the lawyer said.


    Play VIDEO
    Closing arguments begin in Michael Jackson wrongful death suit
    The lawsuit filed by Katherine Jackson, the singer's mother, accuses AEG Live of negligence in hiring Murray.

    Panish proposed that jurors award $290 million to Katherine Jackson and the singer's children for non-economic damages such as the loss of love and comfort.

    He gave no specific figure for possible economic damages, urging jurors to make their own decision while reminding them that expert witnesses had said Michael Jackson could have earned more than $1 billion had he lived longer.

    Panish also spoke of the anguish of Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson over the loss of their father and was warned by the judge that jurors should not base their verdict on sympathy.

    "We're not looking for sympathy," Panish said. "We're looking for justice, not partial but complete justice."

    He then showed nearly an hour of videos produced for the trial that included heart-wrenching home movies that featured his songs and images of his children when they were babies.

    However, the focus of his argument was on the relationship between AEG and Murray.

    Panish told a packed courtroom that Murray's financial woes were unknown to AEG Live when Jackson proposed the cardiologist as his private physician because the company did not research Murray's situation.

    He also said Murray's willingness to close his medical offices to take the job could have raised a red flag if AEG Live had investigated the cardiologist.

    "Obviously, he was incompetent and unfit," Panish said. "He caused the death of Michael Jackson."

    Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter after giving Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic propofol as he tried to sleep during preparations for his "This Is It" concerts in London.

    Attorneys for AEG will present their closing argument Wednesday.

    The company has claimed that Jackson insisted that Murray treat him because the doctor was giving him propofol as a sleep aid. The drug is not meant to be used outside operating rooms.

    AEG Live drafted a contract for Murray's services, according to testimony, but it was only signed by Murray. Still, Panish said, the contract was valid because it was the result of oral negotiations with Murray.

    Panish urged jurors to act as the conscience of the community and award damages to Jackson's family. Jackson's mother, Katherine, her daughter Rebbie and nephews Taj and TJ, sat in a front row as Panish delivered his remarks.

    The trial had been moved to a larger courtroom to accommodate media, spectators, lawyers and Jackson fans. A delegation of justice officials from Thailand also observed from the gallery.

    The afternoon session immersed jurors in the life of Jackson with another video tracing his life from humble beginnings in Gary, Ind., to the heights of fame, with scenes of performances worldwide in vast arenas. Much of the footage was from his early career.

    "That is the best evidence that Michael Jackson would have sold tickets," Panish said about the earning power of the pop star.

    The video ended with the song, "Gone Too Soon" and Jackson's voice saying, "I love you."

    If jurors find that damages should be assessed, the judge said they must not consider such issues as the wealth of both sides or the grief endured by the Jackson family.

    A unanimous verdict is not required. Only nine of the 12 jurors must agree.
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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24 2013 - News Only (no discussion)

    Lawyer puts price on Michael Jackson's death at trial


    In a heartstrings-tugging final presentation wrapping up a five-month trial, attorney Brian Panish urged jurors to award $85 million to each of the star's three children and $35 million to his mother in so-called non-economic damages, such as the loss of love and comfort.

    On top of that were economic damages, for which he did not set a figure, but cited analyses suggesting that the self-styled King of Pop could have made up to $1.6 million if he had lived and pursued a comeback world tour.

    In Tuesday's most arresting moment, he played a 15-minute video compilation of Jackson's hits, including "Thriller" and the star moonwalking to "Billie Jean", combined with home-movie clips of the singer playing with his children.

    "That I think is the best evidence of whether Mr. Jackson could have sold tickets," he said after the extended video, which left some of the dozens of fans in court sobbing and hugging each other.

    Panish insisted however he wasn't trying to play on the jury's emotions. "We're not looking for sympathy, we're looking for justice," he told the trial, which moved to a larger 300-person capacity courtroom for its final stage.

    Presiding judge Yvette Palazuelos unexpectedly ruled that the final few days of the trial, which started in April, can be televised.

    Jackson died on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol at his rented mansion outside Los Angeles, where he was rehearsing for the "This is It" shows at London's 02 Arena. He was 50 years old.

    Dr. Conrad Murray, a cardiologist, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a criminal trial in 2011 for giving the drug to the star -- who suffered from chronic insomnia -- to help him sleep. Murray was jailed for four years.

    In the civil trial, the singer's mother Katherine Jackson, 83, alleges that AEG Live negligently hired an inappropriate and incompetent doctor and missed a series of red flags about his failing health in the run-up to his death.

    "They chose not to check anything about Dr. Murray's background ... They chose to run the risk, to make a huge profit, and they lost and they're responsible," said Panish.

    "AEG wanted the King of Pop in their arena in London. They would do whatever it took to get him on stage... They were so excited about how much money they were going to make," he added.

    "They knew what they were getting. Now they want to come in and deny it."

    If the jury decides in the Jackson family's favor, Panish suggested the jury split whatever compensation amount they decide on in the ratio of 30 percent for each of the three children, and 10 percent for Jackson's 83-year-old mother Katherine, "because Katherine has a lesser life expectancy."

    But he stressed that the jury will make the final decision. "That's up to you," he said.

    AEG Live counters that it did not sign a contract with Murray, and that a promised $150,000 a month for his services would come from an advance it was making to Jackson, meaning effectively that the star hired his own doctor.

    The issue of who hired Murray is crucial to the case, and Panish re-played video clips of AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips, in which he told Sky News that Murray was "willing to leave his practice for a very large sum of money.

    "So we hired him," said Phillips, in what could prove decisive in the jurors' decision-making process.

    AEG Live's lead lawyer, Marvin Putnam, is due to present his side's closing arguments on Wednesday. Panish will then make final rebuttals on Thursday, before the jury retires to consider its verdict.
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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24/25/26 2013 - Closing Statements - News Only (no discussion)

    Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Trial Set to Close
    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 24, 2013
    By ABC NEWS via GOOD MORNING AMERICA
    PHOTO: The Jackson Family
    Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentenced to PrisonNEXT VIDEO
    Getty Images Royal Photographer On Pressure Of Royal Birth
    AUTO START: ON | OFF

    After months in court and the testimomy of over 50 witnesses, the wrongful death case filed by Michael Jackson's family against concert promoter AEG Live is about to come to a close, with a potential billion dollars at stake.

    Jackson was set to perform a 50-night residency at London's 02 arena before his death in 2009 from acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. This week the jury is expected to begin deliberations as to whether it was AEG who hired and retained Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death.

    "It's been five months, they've heard a lot of stuff, now they have to apply the law," AEG's attorney Marvin Putnam told reporters on Monday. "The facts show he was never hired by AEG, he was hired by Michael Jackson."

    AEG claims Murray was Jackson's personal doctor, but the Jackson family insists AEG paid Murray's bill, and put Murray under huge pressure to get Jackson ready for the multi-million dollar comeback tour they were promoting.

    Days before the "This Is It" comeback concerts were due to begin in June 2009, Jackson suddenly died.

    Katherine Jackson, Michael's mother, is one of the plaintiffs, along with Prince Michael and Paris Jackson, his two oldest children. Both Katherine and Prince Michael have testified during the trial.

    "It was the worst day of my life, and I never want to feel like that again," Katherine said on "60 Minutes Australia."

    In the midst of this trial, reliving it all apparently became too much for Michael Jackson's daughter Paris. She had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance at 2 in the morning.

    Attorney Marc Geragos says that if the Jackson family wins, the damages could run into the billions of dollars, as the sum is meant to reflect what Jackson could have earned had he survived.

    Whatever the jury decides, the verdict will almost certainly be appealed.

    "Michael's kids will be in college or grad school before they see the money," Geragos said.
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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24/25/26 2013 - Closing Statements - News Only (no discussion)

    Tour promoter slams 'absurd' Jackson damages claim
    (AFP) – 8 minutes ago

    Los Angeles — The promoters of Michael Jackson's doomed last tour slammed as "absurd" Wednesday a massive claim by his family for damages over the pop icon's 2009 death.
    A lawyer for AEG Live, making his closing argument at the end of a five-month trial, said the promoter would never have funded the "This Is It" tour if it knew the star was playing "Russian roulette" with his own health.
    On Tuesday, the Jackson family's lawyer, closing his own case in a Los Angeles courtroom, proposed a figure of $290 million for non-economic damages, as well as an unspecified sum for economic damages.
    Jackson lawyer Brian Panish cited accountants' analyses of Jackson's potential future earnings of between about $900 million and $1.6 billion, but said the jury would have to decide its own figure.
    AEG Live's attorney Marvin Putnam said Wednesday a claim on such scale was ridiculous.
    "Their dollar amount is $1.5 billion dollars. They kinda rushed through that," he said, referring to the studies cited by Panish the previous day, including in slides shown in court.
    "I'm sorry, that's an absurd number. And they haven't even remotely proved it."
    Jackson, 50, died on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol at his rented mansion in Los Angeles, where he was rehearsing for the "This is It" shows at London's 02 Arena.
    Dr Conrad Murray, a cardiologist, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a criminal trial in 2011 for giving the drug to the star -- who suffered from chronic insomnia -- to help him sleep. Murray was jailed for four years.
    In the civil trial, the singer's mother Katherine Jackson, 83, alleges that AEG Live negligently hired an inappropriate and incompetent doctor and missed a series of red flags about his failing health in the run-up to his death.
    But the promoter's lawyer said Wednesday that AEG Live never actually hired Murray, who it noted had treated Jackson and his children over several years.
    "You can't negligently hire someone unless you hire them," said Putnam, adding: "The evidence is very clear that Michael Jackson was the one who hired Dr Murray."
    Referring to the nightly propofol infusions given to Jackson by Murray, the lawyer said: "AEG never would have agreed to finance this tour if it knew that Mr Jackson was playing Russian roulette in his bedroom every night."
    Jackson was "responsible for his own health, certainly his own healthcare, and he's reponsible for his own choices, no matter how bad those choices turn out to be," Putnam said.
    "The truth here is a tragedy ... It's a tragedy for this family, a tragedy for his mother, a tragedy for his kids. It's horrible and it's incredibly sad. But it's not a tragedy of AEG Live's making."
    Katherine Jackson, who was in court again on Wednesday after attending regularly throughout the trial, is taking the legal action on her behalf and that of Jackson's three children: 16-year-old Prince, Paris, 15, and 11-year-old "Blanket."
    If the six-man, six woman jury decides in the Jackson family's favor, Panish suggested jurors split whatever compensation amount they decide on in the ratio of 30 percent for each of the three children, and 10 percent for Jackson's mother.
    For the final stage of the trial, which began in April, the judge moved proceedings to a large, 300-seat courtroom to accommodate extra media and Jackson fans who have turned up to see the climax of the case.
    On Thursday Jackson lawyer Panish is expected to have one last chance to make his case to the jury, in rebuttal of his rival's closing arguments Wednesday.
    After Panish has finished, the jury will retire to consider its verdict.

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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24/25/26 2013 - Closing Statements - News Only (no discussion)

    Michael Jackson trial: AEG delivers closing arguments

    Miriam Hernandez

    DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- During closing statements in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial on Wednesday, AEG Live's lead attorney called the singer's death a tragedy, but says Jackson was playing Russian roulette by taking propofol.

    AEG asked where is the evidence that the tour promoters hired Conrad Murrary, the doctor who ultimately caused Jackson's death.

    "He didn't ask, remember? He told them, 'We're bringing this doctor," said defense attorney Marvin Putnam.

    Putnam recalled the witnesses who said that neither the family nor Jackson's friends were able to change the mind of the pop idol about anything, including his choice of medications, and that while Katherine Jackson testified she sued AEG to learn the truth, she also understandably closed her ears to it.

    "She closed her ears to fact that Mr. Jackson overdosed," said Putnam.

    The defense says there was never a valid signed contract and that AEG had never paid Murray, but Jackson did. They also say that Murray had been Jackson's doctor for the previous three years.

    About the issue of negligence, the defense zeroed in on Jackson's secrecy and how it was only learned after subpoenas to multiple doctors that Jackson pursued propofol to sleep for more than two decades.

    Putnam asked jurors how Jackson's tour promoters would know about his nightly insomnia treatments at his home.

    For the Jackson attorneys to win the lawsuit, the jurors must make five findings, including that AEG knew or should have known Murray was an unfit doctor.

    AEG points to evidence that Murray had four practices and no malpractice claims and that Jackson himself trusted Murray to treat his children. Putnam says AEG believed Murray would be going to the London concerts to provide basic care.

    "If Mr. Jackson had asked for anesthesiologist to administer anesthesia on tour, that would be a red flag," said Putnam.

    About other red flags alleged by the Jackson lawyers -- Jackson's flu-like symptoms one day he came in sick -- the defense showed Jackson's last rehearsal. According to testimony from an AEG executive, it ended with Jackson saying he was ready to carry on.

    The defense also rejected the Jacksons' claim for damages of $1.5 billion, calling that figure absurd.

    http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?se...ent&id=9261818

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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24/25/26 2013 - Closing Statements - News Only (no discussion)

    'Michael Jackson's death was caused by his own choices,' AEG Live lawyer says
    Lawyers for both sides wrap up closing arguments in billion-dollar wrongful death case involving King of Pop's concert promoter.

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    BY NANCY DILLON / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    PUBLISHED: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2013, 5:13 PM
    UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2013, 6:55 PM
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    Brian Panish, attorney for the Michael Jackson family delivers his closing argument to jurors in the Michael Jackson lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live LLC September 24, 2013 in downtown Los Angeles. Final arguments began today in the Michael Jackson wrongful death case which alledges that entertainment conglomerate AEG is liable in the pop star's 2009 death.
    AL SEIB/POOL/GETTY IMAGES

    Brian Panish, attorney for the Michael Jackson family delivers his closing argument to jurors in the Michael Jackson lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live Wednesday.
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    Michael Jackson was a grown man who personally selected his Dr. Feelgood and chose to put the equivalent of a loaded gun to his head each night with daredevil drug use, a lawyer for concert promoter AEG Live told jurors Wednesday.

    Marvin Putnam had his last chance to address jurors in Katherine Jackson's billion-dollar wrongful death lawsuit and hammered the concept of personal responsibility over and over like a chorus.

    "Plaintiffs want you to hold a concert promoter liable for (Michael's) drug overdose in his private bedroom, behind locked doors at the hands of his doctor on June 25, 2009," Putnam said twice, repeating himself for emphasis.

    "The sad truth here is that Michael Jackson's death was caused by his own choices."

    RELATED: MICHAEL JACKSON WRONGFUL DEATH TRIAL TO WRAP UP

    The King of Pop was a consenting adult on the verge of his 50th birthday, and when he informed AEG he wanted his personal physician - Dr. Conrad Murray - with him on tour, "it was not for AEG Live to interfere with that longtime doctor-patient relationship," Putnam said.

    He told the jurors — who started hearing testimony five months ago — that AEG Live was as stunned as the rest of the world to learn Michael died from an overdose of the surgery-strength anesthetic propofol given in a makeshift medical theater inside his gated and guarded mansion.

    AEG Live's lead attorney Marvin Putnam a delivers his closing arguments in the wrongful death case filed by Michael Jackson's family in Los Angeles, Wednesday.
    IRFAN KHAN/AP

    AEG Live's lead attorney Marvin Putnam a delivers his closing arguments in the wrongful death case filed by Michael Jackson's family in Los Angeles, Wednesday.

    "Simply stated, AEG never would have agreed to finance this tour if it knew Mr. Jackson played Russian roulette every night in his bedroom. It wasn't going to happen," Putnam said.

    Murray - now serving four years for involuntary manslaughter - was a cardiologist, not an anesthesiologist, and had no malpractice complaints before Michael's death, he said.

    RELATED: TESTIMONY ENDS IN MICHAEL JACKSON'S WRONGFUL DEATH TRIAL

    As far as AEG Live knew, Dr. Murray was Michael's internist, treating him for things like dehydration and the common cold, he said.

    "If Michael Jackson had asked for an anesthesiologist…that would have been a red flag," he said.

    Putnam agreed it was no secret that AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips and touring honcho Paul Gongaware were willing to move mountains to get Michael to London for his 50 "This Is It" comeback concerts.

    "They were incredibly excited about it. They wanted to move forward, to be part of Mr. Jackson's redemption. And yes, they also wanted to make a profit. There's no question about that. But that doesn't change the facts. It doesn't change that adults are responsible for the choices they make," he said.

    Katherine Jackson listened without emotion as she sat with eldest daughter Rebbie and grandsons Taj and T.J. Jackson in the gallery behind the jury.
    One of her lawyers, Michael Koskoff, played solitaire on his computer during some of Putnam's presentation.
    Katherine's lead lawyer said in his closing argument Tuesday that jurors should award Katherine and Michael's three kids $1.2 billion in economic damages and some $300 million in personal damages for AEG's negligence and resulting role in Michael's death.
    Putnam called that amount "absurd" but acknowledged the 83-year-old matriarch's pain and search for "the truth."
    RELATED: FINAL WITNESS TESTIFIES IN MICHAEL JACKSON WRONGFUL DEATH TRIAL
    "AEG Live is not afraid of the truth. The truth here is a tragedy, an absolutely devastating tragedy," he said. "This is a tragedy for his family, a tragedy for his mother, a tragedy for his kids. It is incredibly sad. But it is not tragedy of AEG Live's making, (so) please don't close your ears to the facts."
    Katherine Jackson, the iconic singer's mother, is accusing concert promoter AEG Live of being responsible for the hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the King of Pop's death.
    MATT SAYLES/AP

    Katherine Jackson, the iconic singer's mother, is accusing concert promoter AEG Live of being responsible for the hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the King of Pop's death.

    He said the evidence proves Dr. Murray started treating Michael and his kids back in 2006 in Las Vegas and that Michael described Murray as his personal physician during a tour physical in February 2009, months before his death.
    He said it was also critical to note that Murray willingly signed a final contract shortly before Michael's death that explicitly stated the pact wasn't valid until Michael also signed.
    Neither the "Thriller" singer nor AEG ever signed the document.
    RELATED: *****’S KIN’S LAWYER MAKES FINAL PUSH IN DEATH TRIAL
    "Whenever a tragedy happens, it's easy to play (the blame) game. You can torture yourself. I'm sure his family has tortured themselves. You can say, 'If only I had done something. If only I had seen the signs that are now so clear,'" he said.
    The other option is to "torture" and "blame" others, he said, calling the inclination "the natural thing to do."
    But "should have, could have" scenarios concocted with "20/20 hindsight" are not what this case is about, he said.
    "The law doesn't require you to save someone even if your conscience, your morality, you love tell you that you should," he said. "Anyone who's ever loved an addict, known an addict, cared for an addict knows what that's like. You can't save (them). They have to save themselves."


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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24/25/26 2013 - Closing Statements - News Only (no discussion)

    AEG closing arguments: Michael Jackson made 'bad choices,' not us

    By Jeff Gottlieb
    September 25, 2013, 1:08 p.m.
    The attorney for AEG Live told jurors Wednesday the concert promoter never hired the doctor who was treating Michael Jackson as he prepared for a comeback tour, never had a contract with him and had no idea the doctor was giving the singer the powerful anesthetic that killed him.

    "Plaintiffs want you to hold a concert promoter liable for Michael Jackson’s overdose, in his bedroom, at night, behind locked doors,” Marvin Putnam said during his closing argument in the five-month wrongful death case.

    Jackson, he said, was a grown man, 50 years old and responsible for his own health.



    “He made some bad choices and it resulted in a horrible tragedy, but you shouldn’t blame someone else for Mr. Jackson’s bad choices,” he said.

    "Make no mistake about this," Putnam said. "It was Mr. Jackson, not AEG Live, that chose Conrad Murray."

    Murray, a Las Vegas physician, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the singer’s overdose death and is now serving a jail sentence.

    PHOTOS: Michael Jackson | 1958-2009
    AEG, Murray said, tried to talk Jackson out of bringing Murray aboard for the singer's 50-concert comeback at the 02 Arena in London, saying there were plenty of great doctors there.

    “Ultimately it was his money, his doctor and his choice," Putnam said. "If he wanted to bring his doctor along with him and his family, that was up to him, and he certainly wasn’t going to take no for an answer.”

    Jackson died June 25, 2009, just a few weeks before his tour was to begin. His family is suing AEG, saying the company negligently hired and supervised Murray.

    AEG has maintained throughout the nearly five-month trial that Murray worked for Jackson and that any money the company was supposed to pay him was part of an advance to the singer.

    Putnam said AEG Live didn't know anything about Jackson's propofol use until authorities completed their investigation into the pop star’s death.

    AEG Live, Putnam said, would have never agreed to finance the tour “if it knew Mr. Jackson was playing Russian roulette in his bedroom every night.”

    The attorney tried to explain a potentially damaging email in which AEG executive Paul Gongaware wrote of Murray, “We want to remind him that it is AEG, not MJ who is paying his salary. We want him to understand what is expected of him.”

    Putnam said Gongaware testified that while he didn't recall the email, he never had that conversation with the doctor.
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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24/25/26 2013 - Closing Statements - News Only (no discussion)

    Lawyer: Jackson died from own bad choices

    Posted: Sep 25, 2013 1:48 AM EDT
    Updated: Sep 25, 2013 8:38 PM EDT
    By LINDA DEUTSCH
    AP Special Correspondent
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Michael Jackson died because of his own bad choices involving the drug that killed him and the doctor who provided it, not because of anything done by AEG Live, a lawyer for the producer of Jackson's comeback concerts told jurors Wednesday.

    Delivering his closing argument in the long-running negligence case by Jackson's family, defense attorney Marvin Putnam said the secretive singer never told the producers that he was using the hospital anesthetic propofol to overcome his chronic insomnia.

    If AEG Live had known, it would have pulled the plug on the planned tour, the lawyer said.

    "AEG would have never agreed to finance this tour if they knew Mr. Jackson was playing Russian roulette in his bedroom every night," Putnam told jurors.

    Putnam also said AEG Live LLC tried to deter Jackson from hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, who was later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in his death, but Jackson "wouldn't take no for an answer."

    Only after Jackson's death, he said, did the company learn about the secret propofol treatments by Murray.

    "AEG only learned the truth after Mr. Jackson passed," Putnam said. "They heard for the first time what propofol was."

    Putnam stressed that it was Jackson, not AEG, who insisted on hiring Murray, a cardiologist who had befriended the pop star in Las Vegas three years earlier. Jackson, who was using him as a family doctor, told AEG that Murray was to be his physician for the "This Is It" shows in London, according to Putnam.

    "He didn't ask AEG," the lawyer said. "He said, 'We're using this doctor.' He was a grown man of 50 and as a grown man he is responsible for his own health and his own choices no matter how bad those choices may be."

    AEG 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.

    Murray was convicted in 2011 after giving Jackson an overdose of propofol on the day he died in 2009. The drug is not meant to be used outside operating rooms.

    With Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine, a plaintiff in the suit, seated in a front row, Putnam reminded jurors that she said she wanted to know the truth about her son's demise. But she also testified that she closed her ears when she heard bad things about him, he said.

    He accused lawyers for the Jackson family of asking jurors to close their ears to facts surrounding the actions of the singer.

    "He made some bad choices that resulted in a horrible tragedy. You can't blame someone else for his bad choices," Putnam said.

    A day earlier, a lawyer for Katherine Jackson had portrayed AEG Live executives and Murray as mercenaries who sacrificed the pop star's life in a quest to boost their own fortunes.

    Attorney Brian Panish said a $150,000-a-month contract to care for Jackson on tour was a lifeline to help Murray climb out of his financial troubles. He blamed AEG executives for failing to realize Murray was unfit for the job.

    "Obviously, he was incompetent and unfit," Panish said. "He caused the death of Michael Jackson."

    The courtroom atmosphere was starkly changed Wednesday. Panish had brought Hollywood dazzle, showing professionally produced videos of the superstar's life and home movies of him with his children when they were babies.

    Putnam, however, focused his argument solely on the law and the evidence jurors had seen during the five-month trial. He showed emails and excerpts from proposed contracts, arguing that there never was a contract between Murray and AEG.

    At one point he showed excerpts from "This is It," the documentary about rehearsals for the London concerts. He pointed out that Jackson appeared in control, performing perfectly on a rendition of "Earth Song."

    "And 12 hours later, he was dead," Putnam said.

    Judging from the footage, AEG could not have known the singer was receiving nightly doses of propofol from Murray, Putnam said.

    "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."

    A key issue in the negligence suit is whether AEG Live or Michael Jackson hired Murray.

    Putnam said if jurors find AEG didn't do the hiring, their work will be done and they need not decide other questions involving damages.

    He ridiculed the plaintiffs for suggesting in documents that AEG should pay $1.5 billion in damages. He said that figure was based on expert witness speculation on how much Jackson could have earned but asserted that damages cannot be based on speculation.

    Panish will get a chance Thursday to rebut Putnam's argument before the case is submitted to jurors. A unanimous verdict is not required in the case. Only nine of the 12 jurors must agree.
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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24/25/26 2013 - Closing Statements - News Only (no discussion)

    AEG says $1.5 billion for Jackson's death is 'ridiculous'
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    Attorneys for entertainment giant AEG finished closing arguments Wednesday in the five-month Michael Jackson wrongful death trial.

    By Jeff Gottlieb
    September 25, 2013, 6:20 p.m.
    A claim by the family of Michael Jackson that it be awarded damages up to $1.5 billion for the pop star’s death is “ridiculous,” an attorney for entertainment powerhouse AEG told jurors Wednesday

    Marvin Putnam, the lead attorney for AEG, said an expert witness for the entertainment firm determined that the potential economic damages resulting from Jackson’s death were closer to $21 million.

    Beyond the differing calculation for what the pop singer might have earned had he lived long enough to pull off a worldwide tour and a Las Vegas show later in life, Putnam said AEG was not liable for Jackson’s 2009 overdose death.

    “It wasn’t AEG’s fault,” Putnam said during his closing argument in the 4-month-old trial. “All they wanted to do was put on a concert.”

    Jackson, who was 50 when he died, was a grown man who was responsible for his own health, Putnam said, a statement he tried to drill into jurors’ minds throughout the day.

    “Plaintiffs want you to hold a concert promoter liable for Michael Jackson’s overdose, in his bedroom, at night, behind locked doors,” he said.

    PHOTOS: Michael Jackson | 1958-2009

    Jackson, Putnam said, had used propofol since 1997 while on tour in Germany.

    The singer, who suffered from terrible insomnia, tried to persuade other doctors through the years to use the anesthetic, Putnam said.

    “Michael Jackson was told over and over and over again that propofol was dangerous, that it could kill him, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer,” the lawyer said.

    AEG Live, Putnam said, would never have agreed to finance the tour “if it knew Mr. Jackson was playing Russian roulette in his bedroom every night.”

    Jackson died a few weeks before his 50-concert London comeback was to begin. His mother and three children are suing AEG, saying that the company negligently hired and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, the Las Vegas physician who administered the fatal dose of the anesthetic.

    AEG has maintained that Murray worked for Jackson.

    The case is expected to go to the jury Thursday.
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    Default Re: Jacksons vs AEG - September 24/25/26 2013 - Closing Statements - News Only (no discussion)

    Lawyer: Blame Michael Jackson for his death, not AEG Live
    By Alan Duke, CNN
    updated 9:20 PM EDT, Wed September 25, 2013

    Katherine Jackson: Michael's mother, 82, was deposed for nine hours over three days by AEG Live lawyers. As the guardian of her son's three children, she is a plaintiff in the wrongful death lawsuit against the company that promoted Michael Jackson's comeback concerts. Katherine Jackson: Michael's mother, 82, was deposed for nine hours over three days by AEG Live lawyers. As the guardian of her son's three children, she is a plaintiff in the wrongful death lawsuit against the company that promoted Michael Jackson's comeback concerts.
    HIDE CAPTION
    Key players in Jackson wrongful death trial
    <<
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
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    >>
    STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    NEW: Producers just thought Jackson was tired, afraid and aging, AEG lawyer says
    NEW: Jackson lawyer set for rebuttal Thursday morning
    "The sad truth is Mr. Jackson's death was caused by his choices," says AEG lawyer
    A Jackson lawyer conceded Tuesday the singer may have some fault for his own death

    Los Angeles (CNN) -- AEG LIve's lawyer asked a jury to find Michael Jackson responsible for his death, not the concert promoter.
    Attorney Marvin Putnam spent four hours Wednesday deliver his closing arguments in the trial of the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Jackson's mother and three children.
    "Plaintiffs want you to hold a concert promoter liable for Michael Jackson's overdose in his bedroom at night, behind locked doors on June 25, 2009," Putnam told jurors. "An overdose of the drug administered to Mr. Jackson by his longtime doctor -- Dr. Murray -- who he'd been seeing for years, a doctor he brought to Los Angeles from Las Vegas."
    When the trial began five months ago, Putnam warned he would show "ugly stuff" and reveal Jackson's "deepest, darkest secret."
    The revelations that jurors heard from 58 witnesses over 83 days of testimony spanning 21 weeks included details of Jackson's drug use and his shopping for a doctor to give him the surgical anesthetic propofol that he thought would give him sleep.
    "He was nearly half a billion dollars in debt," Putnam argued Wednesday. "His mother's house was near foreclosure, we didn't know that then. What else do we know now? That Mr. Jackson spent decades shopping for doctors to give him the painkillers he wanted. Mr. Jackson made sure we didn't know that."
    Jackson family lawyers make their case Michael Jackson doc: 'He wasn't faking' Paris Jackson's deposition
    Brian Panish, the lead lawyer for Jackson's mother and three children, conceded in his closing Tuesday that the singer may have some fault for his own death, but said "it's about shared responsibility."
    Jackson did use prescription painkillers and was warned that using propofol at home to sleep was risky, "but he never had a problem until Dr. Conrad Murray was working and until Conrad Murray negotiated with AEG Live," Panish argued.
    The AEG Live lawyer, Putnam, argued Wednesday that Jackson should take the full blame. "The sad truth is Mr. Jackson's death was caused by his choices and it would have happened no matter what -- with or without AEG Live."
    The Jackson family lawyer urged jurors to award the family between $1 billion and $2 billion in damages for its share of liability in Jackson's death -- to replace what he would have earned touring, had he lived, and for the personal suffering from the loss of a son and father.
    Putnam told jurors Wednesday that was "an absurd number."
    Katherine Jackson testified that she filed the wrongful death lawsuit three years ago against AEG Live "because I want to know what really happened to my son."
    Her lawyers argue that the company is liable in the death because it negligently hired, retained or supervised Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's propofol overdose death.
    Jackson's lawyer will have another two hours Thursday morning to sum up his arguments in rebuttal.
    Twelve jurors, who have sat and listened in a Los Angeles courtroom for 21 weeks, will then begin deliberations.
    The judge is allowing a television camera in court for the closing arguments and verdict.
    Who's to blame for Michael Jackson's death?
    AEG Live's defense
    Murray treated Michael Jackson and his children for minor illnesses while they lived in Las Vegas for three years, before the singer returned to Los Angeles to prepare for his "This Is It" comeback tour. It was Jackson -- not AEG Live executives -- who chose Murray to be his full-time doctor for his tour, the company's lawyers contend.
    AEG Live Co-CEO Paul Gongaware negotiated to pay Murray $150,000 a month only because of Jackson's request to have his doctor with him as he performed 50 shows at London's O2 Arena, they argue.
    "He told them 'We're bringing this doctor,' " Putnam said. "This was a choice Mr. Jackson made, he was a grown man."
    AEG Live executives tried to talk Jackson out of taking an American doctor with him on tour, suggesting he could save money by using a physician in London, Putnam said.
    "But Mr. Jackson was undeterred," he said. "Ultimately, it was his money, his doctor, his choice. He certainly wasn't going to take 'no' for an answer."
    There was no need to check Murray's background because he was a licensed, successful doctor who was known to Jackson, Putnam said. "All AEG Live knew was Dr. Murray was Mr. Jackson's longtime doctor."
    A key argument in the Jackson case is that AEG Live was negligent by not ordering a financial background check of Murray, which would have revealed he was in a dire financial situation and not successful. His desperation to keep his lucrative job led Murray to violate his Hippocratic Oath to do no harm by using the dangerous propofol infusions to put Jackson to sleep each night for two months, Jackson lawyers argue.
    AEG Live executives had no way of knowing Murray was treating Jackson's insomnia with propofol in the privacy of his bedroom, their lawyers contend. Jackson was a secretive addict, adept at keeping family, friends and other doctors in the dark about his medical treatments, they argue.
    But two doctors testified that they told Gongaware about Jackson's abuse of painkillers and his insomnia during tours in the 1990s, when the AEG Live executive served as tour manager. Jackson lawyers argue Gongaware, who was the top producer on the new tour, should have known that Jackson could suffer the same problems in 2009.
    The deterioration of Jackson's health over the two months he was being treated by Murray was a red flag that there was a problem, but AEG Live executives negligently ignored the warning, Jackson lawyers argue. By June 19, he was frail, suffering chills, unable to do his trademark dances and paranoid, according to testimony.
    "Everyone believed at the time that a 50-year-old man, who hadn't performed in a decade was tired, out of shape and very nervous," Putnam argued Wednesday. "That's what they believed at the time and it makes sense."
    AEG Live can avoid a negative verdict if is able able to convince at least 4 of 12 jurors that it did not hire Murray. It is the first of 16 questions on the jury verdict form. If jurors answer it with a "no" -- that AEG Live did not hire the doctor -- they would end their deliberations and the trial.
    An AEG Live lawyer e-mailed an employment contract to Murray on the morning of June 24, 2009. Murray signed it and faxed it back to the company that day. But the signature line for AEG Live's CEO and Michael Jackson were never signed since Jackson died the next day.
    Putnam will point to those blank signature lines as evidence that Murray was never hired by his client. There were negotiations with Murray, but he was never paid, the AEG Live lawyer argues.
    Panish, the lead Jackson lawyer, told jurors Tuesday that all the elements of an oral contract -- "just as valid as a written contract" -- were in place when Jackson died.
    Murray had been treating Jackson for two months and the written contract stated that his start day was May 1, 2009. A series of e-mail exchanges involving Murray and AEG Live executives and lawyers supported his argument, Panish said.
    A look at the life of Michael Jackson
    Blame and damages
    If the jury concludes AEG Live has liability, it would have to decide how much the company should pay in economic and personal damages to Jackson's mother and children. They can use estimates of Jackson's "lost earnings capacity" -- the amount of money he could reasonably be expected to have earned if he had lived -- to guide them.
    AEG Live expert Eric Briggs testified it was "speculative" that Jackson would have even completed another tour because of his drug use, damaged reputation and history of failed projects. He suggested the star may never have earned another dime.
    Putnam's closing argument about damages must overcome the impression left on jurors Tuesday when Panish played a video montage of Jackson performances.
    "That is, I think, the best evidence of if Michael Jackson could have sold tickets -- not what Mr. Briggs would tell you," Panish told jurors.
    Panish suggested jurors pick a number between $900 million and $1.6 billion for economic damages. They should add on another $290 million for non-economic damages -- or personal damages, he said.
    Putnam argued that the number, if the jury finds AEG Live liable, should be closer to $21 million, the amount of money AEG Live's expert calculated Jackson would have given his mother and three children over the next 16 years. He couldn't have given them more because he was had a $400 million debt that ws getting deeper, he said.
    "If Mr. Jackson had lived, it's hard to see how he would ever have dug himself out of that whole," Putnam said.
    The last question on the verdict form asks jurors to assign a percentage that they believe represents Michael Jackson's share of blame in his death. The total damages owed by AEG Live would be reduced by that percentage.
    Panish will have two hours to rebut Putnam's arguments before jury deliberations begin later Thursday.
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