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Jackson matriarch sues concert promotion company for $40 billion

New Jersey residents who follow celebrity news may have heard about the latest trial to arise from late pop star Michael Jackson's 2009 death. In a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the pop star's 82-year-old mother seeking $40 billion in potential lost lifetime earnings that the singer would have allegedly made over the remainder of his life, the concert promotion company that oversaw his final tour is implicated in his death.

The doctor who infamously administered a fatal dose of a sedative to Jackson in June 2009 has already been tried for involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison; now, the promotion company, AEG Live, has also been accused of playing an active role in the singer's demise. Katherine Jackson alleges that the company knowingly put the troubled singer, who had a history of drug abuse problems, at risk and negligently hired the doctor to care for him during his global comeback tour. 

One focus of the trial will be an unpublished book by Jermaine Jackson that documents his brother's struggle with all types of substances, including alcohol. Emails recovered by the Jackson team between AEG executives suggest that the company was aware of the singer's volatile and fragile state, but on the other hand, there is no evidence that AEG itself was responsible for hiring the doctor.

Speculation continues over whether the matriarch might consider settling out of court in order to avoid dragging her son's name through the mud and embarrassing her grandchildren. Jackson's estate now is valued at about $1 billion. However, it seems unlikely the company will settle. Even in cases that are not nearly as complex or high-profile as this one, an aggressive and insightful attorney may be invaluable for individuals aiming to demonstrate another party's liability for the death of a loved one.

Source: The Daily Beast, "Inside the Latest Michael Jackson Trial-the One With $40 Billion on the Line," Diane Dimond, April 1, 2013 

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