It’s been five months since the beginning of the trial, but yesterday, a California jury finally decided that Michael Jackson’s last concert promoter, AEG Live, was not responsible for the star’s death in 2009. Jackson’s family had sued the company for $1.5 billion in damages because they accused it of negligence in their hiring of cardiologist Conrad Murray, who notoriously gave Jackson the dose of anesthetic propofol that would kill him.
The family claims that AEG was more concerned with its profits than it was with Jackson’s health. The company shot back that they were not responsible for Jackson’s death and claimed the singer had a history of abusing drugs, hiding his addiction and seeking out doctors who would prescribe him the drugs he was addicted to. Murray is currently in prison, having been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011.
After about 13 hours of deliberation over the span of four days, the jury ruled that AEG was responsible for hiring the doctor, but rejected the Jackson family’s claim that Murray was not competent to treat Jackson. Marvin S. Putnam, the lawyer for AEG Live, said in a statement that the verdict proved “what we have known from the start—that although Michael Jackson’s death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making.”
Jackson’s 83-year-old mother, Katherine Jackson, who has been very vocal about the trial and attended the proceedings almost every day, quickly left the courtroom after the verdict was read, and hasn’t made any statements.