Michael Jackson wrongful death trial handed over to jury

A wrongful death lawsuit brought by MICHAEL JACKSON's mother Katherine and his three children against concert promoters at AEG Live is officially in the hands of a Los Angeles jury after a five-month trial.

Deliberations began on Thursday (26Sep13) after lawyers for both sides delivered their closing arguments, during which Jackson family lawyer Brian Panish branded AEG Live a "money-making machine" for allegedly negligently hiring imprisoned medic Conrad Murray as the singer's personal physician ahead of his doomed This Is It residency in London in 2009.

He added, "All they care about is how much money is this freak (Michael) going to make for them."

Defense attorney Marvin Putnam countered Panish's claim by insisting the King of Pop personally hired Murray after refusing to take recommendations for other London-based doctors who could help with his insomnia problems.

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

Murray is currently serving time behind bars for involuntary manslaughter for administering the fatal dose of anesthetic propofol which caused the superstar's death in June, 2009.

The Jackson family is demanding $290 million in personal damages, in addition to an undisclosed amount for Michael's lost future earnings. Previous reports have placed the Jacksons' total demand for damages at more than $40 billion. AEG Live chiefs have denied the charges.

A unanimous decision is not required - just nine of the 12 jurors must agree to secure a verdict in the trial.

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