Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Trial Begins: Was Propofol Overdose AEG Live's Fault?

Michael Jackson propofol overdose
Under the guidance of his physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson took nightly doses of the hospital-grade anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid. An overdose caused his death on June 25, 2009.

Concert promotor AEG Live ignored Michael Jackson's medical problems and his doctor's conflicts of interest, which led to the pop icon's death, according to arguments put forward by the family's lawyers Monday.

At issue is whether AEG Live, which promoted Jackson's comeback tour in 2009, was responsible in hiring and supervising Dr. Conrad Murray, convicted of involuntary manslaughter following Jackson's death on July 25, 2009.

The lawsuit seeks money equal to the amount that Jackson would have earned since 2009, were he still alive. Although Jackson family lawyers deny they are seeking $40 billion in reparations, the lawsuit nonetheless could cost AEG Live several billion dollars.

AEG recently was for sale with an asking price of $8 billion.

The Jackson family lawyers argued that AEG Live executives should have seen the warning signs that Michael Jackson's health was failing. Jackson was being administered the hospital-grade anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid, and eventually an overdose caused his death. Additionally, Jackson suffered from a well-known prescription drug addiction, according to attorney Brian Panish.

"Over the years Michael's family and people who knew him believed he had a problem with prescription medication," Panish said.

The family lawyers encouraged jurors to hold AEG Live responsible in the death of the pop icon.

"Michael paid the ultimate price. He died," Panish said. "Michael has taken responsibility."

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