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Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos gathers jury verdict documents moments before they’re publicly disclosed Oct. 2 during the trial of Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit against AEG Live over the death of Michael Jackson. On Monday the judge denied a motion by the singer’s mom for a new trial based on allegedly ‘defective’ jury instructions and forms.
A Los Angeles judge has rejected a request from Michael Jackson‘s mother and three kids for a new trial in their wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live.
A jury previously found AEG Live not liable for more than $ 1 billion in requested damages after a five-month trial that ended in October.
Though the Monday ruling from Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos wasn’t in her favor, matriarch Katherine Jackson isn’t giving up, her lead lawyer told the Daily News.
“This isn’t over as we intend to have several issues decided by the court of appeal,” lawyer Brian Panish vowed.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the court’s ruling,” AEG’s lead lawyer Marvin Putnam said Monday.
Michael Jackson is pictured announcing his ‘This Is It’ tour at a March 2009 press conference. The King of Pop died before the concerts due to drugs given to him by his tour physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.
“We were confident that the court would uphold the jury’s verdict, the product of five months of their careful focus and attention,” he said.
“This is also fantastic news for the taxpayers of California, who won’t have their hard-earned money wasted retrying plaintiffs’ baseless claims. Enough is enough,” he added.
The jury of six men and six women agreed Oct. 2 that AEG Live had hired Dr. Conrad Murray as Michael Jackson’s personal physician for his ill-fated “This Is It” concert series.
But they said Murray appeared competent on paper, so AEG had no reason to suspect early on that he’d go rogue and give Jackson surgery-strength anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid in a private bedroom.
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years behind bars after Jackson died from a propofol overdose in June 2009.
Katherine Jackson, shown in November 2011, sought a new trial of her lawsuit against AEG Live over the death of her pop star son Michael. Her motion was denied Monday.
The doctor was released from jail late last year, just weeks after the verdict in the AEG trial.
Katherine Jackson brought her request for a new trial in early December, claiming that the jury instructions and verdict form were defective because they halted deliberations the moment jurors found Murray was competent at the time of his hiring.
Her lawyers said the jurors should have been allowed to debate Murray’s fitness “during the course of the relationship” with Michael Jackson in the weeks leading up to the King of Pop’s death.
One juror said in a declaration that “some of the jurors were stunned and upset after learning that we had to stop deliberations after answering ‘no’ to Question 2,” a question asking if Murray was “unfit” to perform the work for which he was hired.
Murray had no history of malpractice claims at the time he moved to Los Angeles to be Jackson’s tour doctor.
‘In order to protect our jurors from after-the-fact harassment and their deliberative process from misconstruction, the law forbids the courts from considering affidavits discussing the jury’s reasoning and mental processes,’ AEG attorney Marvin Putnam, right, shown in this Oct. 2 photo, successfully argued against Katherine Jackson’s bid for a new trial over Michael Jackson’s death.
Putnam said the juror statements filed by Katherine Jackson after the verdict was read were inadmissible under “well-established” California law.
“The court had no choice but to disregard those affidavits. In order to protect our jurors from after-the-fact harassment and their deliberative process from misconstruction, the law forbids the courts from considering affidavits discussing the jury’s reasoning and mental processes,” he said.
Putnam argued Katherine Jackson’s lawyers had approved the jury verdict form before deliberations began.
“There is something called the doctrine of invited error. It basically says that a party cannot create a problem and then complain about the very problem it created later,” Putnam said.
“That is precisely what plaintiffs were attempting to do here. Since March of last year they have argued to use the exact language on the jury form that they now suddenly claim for the first time was a misstatement of the law. As the court held, California law doesn’t tolerate such bait and switch tactics.”