Jackson-AEG jury mulls verdict for second day

The jury mulling whether tour promoters AEG Live should pay huge damages to Michael Jackson's family over his death will reconvene next week after its first full day of deliberations yesterday.

Observers note that the longer the jurors deliberate, the more likely it is they could find themselves in favor of the Jackson family, which claims AEG Live negligently hired Conrad Murray (pic), the physician convicted over the star's death.

The six-man, six-woman panel, which has been meeting since Thursday afternoon, failed to reach a verdict and will meet again on Tuesday, said a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Jackson died on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol at his rented mansion in Los Angeles, where he was rehearsing for the shows at London's O2 Arena.

Murray, a cardiologist, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a criminal trial in 2011 for giving the drug to the star - who suffered from chronic insomnia - to help him sleep. Murray was jailed for four years.

In the civil trial, the singer's mother Katherine Jackson, 83, alleges that AEG Live negligently hired an inappropriate and incompetent doctor and missed a series of red flags about the star's failing health in the run-up to his death.

The Jacksons want AEG Live to pay US$85 million (RM274.4 million) to each of the star's three children for emotional loss, and an unspecified amount for economic losses, estimated at up to US$1.6 billion. AEG's lawyers call the figures "absurd."

The length of time the jury remains out could be an indicator of how deliberations are going.

This is because the juror verdict form starts with five key questions with Yes or No answers, each of which jurors have to agree with to pass on to the next question.

If they vote No to any question, with at least nine jurors in agreement, they do not need to go to the next question, and they would find that Jackson's lawyers had failed to prove their case.

The first question asks whether they agree that AEG Live hired Conrad Murray - a key issue in dispute. The next asks if Murray was unfit or incompetent for the job.

The third asks if AEG Live knew or should have known that Murray was unfit for the job, followed by a query on whether Conrad's incompetence harmed the Jackson family.

If they get this far, jurors will be asked if Jackson's lawyers have proven the need for damages.

The jury is scheduled to deliberate normally from 9:30am to 4:00pm (12:30am-7:00am) Monday to Friday, until they reach a verdict. - AFP, September 28, 2013.


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