Below is the tagline for the story, “Michael Jackson’s life and death back in spotlight in new trial” http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/28/entertainment-us-michaeljackson-aeg-idUSBRE93R04J20130428
” … the bizarre life and sorry demise of Michael Jackson will play out again in a $40 billion civil trial that pits the singer’s family against the organizers of a musical comeback that never happened.”
Uh, $40 BILLION? Seriously?
I thought the record (at the time in 1999) $4.9 billion judgment against GM for the dangerous fuel-tank-placement design of its 1979 Malibu was an eyebrow raiser — and apparently the trial judge and, later. appellate court, thought so, too, when they slashed the judgment by more than $3 billion, but keep it at a stratosphere level.
In that case, four children–one just 7 years old–were severely burned, required countless surgeries and other years-long medical treatment and care. The 7-year-old, whom I saw in court when she was 12, was grotesquely disfigured–despite having had more than 70 surgeries at that point and was facing many more–and had lost fingers on one hand.
The plaintiffs in the latest Michael Jackson gold-digging case — and I say that because what have any of the people involved in these Jackson post-mortem lawsuits done to deserve any of the largess that would be part of his estate, except for the luck of having been related to him and being professional hangers-on.
Even the three children, Paris, Prince and Blanket (can you believe it, Blanket?) are no pauvre enfants, having lived all of their young lives in ostentatious luxury and can undoubtedly write their very own eye-popping tickets in any number of ways.
So what’s behind this $40 BILLION lawsuit? Is the point to teach the defendant AEG Live a lesson? Like what? That AEG shouldn’t have let a 50-year-old man who made lots of other decisions, however questionable or bizarre, about his life hire a doctor who gave him too much and a bad mix of drugs? Or that AEG shouldn’t have hired the doctor directly and, therefore, is responsible? What? Michael Jackson didn’t have hire-fire rights? And neither did his “shy, retiring, unassertive” family?
And where was this loving, caring, concerned family in the month run-up to Michael’s death when supposedly the doctor in question, Conrad Murray, was giving him the same potent mix of narcotics and sedatives every night to get him to sleep? Did they not know? Really? Was it only after Michael died that they became alarmed?
From what I understand, the $40 billion is supposed to represent the financial loss to Jackson (Michael, not his family) and his–HIS–Michael Jackson Enterprises–because he died before he could perform in the concert tour AEG was producing. Seems to me that would be Michael’s financial loss, not his family’s, and since he’s no longer here, how should his family be able to cash in on his loss?
So this is a wrongful-death lawsuit. Wrongful death. The doctor, Conrad Murray, has already faced criminal charges and is serving a four-year prison sentence. Maybe his family deserves some compensation for the loss of his companionship. Although considering that the only job they had was to be his family in the decades that Michael was becoming a mega-star and makings lots of money, which they shared in, it seems to me that they’re the ones who were negligent or irresponsible. Is there such a thing as wrongful family?
But even if they can legitimately sue AEG for wrongful death. I have grave doubts that they’ve been burned to the tune of $40 billion?