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Lifestyle

April 30, 2013

Opening statements begin in Jackson death trial

LOS ANGELES — An attorney for Michael Jackson’s mother says AEG Live owed it to the pop superstar to properly investigate the doctor held criminally responsible for his death.

The comments by Brian Panish came yesterday during opening statements in Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit against concert giant AEG Live, which she says should be held civilly liable for her son’s 2009 death.

Panish says AEG is the only entity that claims it didn’t know about Jackson’s addiction to prescription drugs.

AEG officials have denied any wrongdoing, and its lawyers have said company executives could not have foreseen the circumstances that led to a physician giving Jackson doses of the anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid.

A jury of six men and six women will determine whether AEG is liable and any damages award.

Concert giant AEG Live owed a duty to properly investigate the doctor who treated Michael Jackson, an attorney for the singer’s mother told a jury yesterday.

“His stirring voice, his musical genius, his creativity and his generosity and his huge heart was extinguished forever,” attorney Brian Panish said in opening statements of a civil lawsuit filed over Jackson’s June 2009 death. Katherine Jackson is suing AEG claiming it failed to properly investigate the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s death.

“You’re going to hear the whole story about what happened in the death of Michael Jackson,” Panish said.

Panish made his remarks in an opening presentation filled with slides detailing the case against AEG, which was promoting Jackson’s planned comeback concerts, “This Is It.”

Jackson’s mother, brother Randy and sister Rebbie sat in the front row of the courtroom as Panish detailed aspects of Jackson’s life.

An attorney for AEG is expected to begin addressing the panel later yesterday.

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