Closing arguments on the Michael Jackson wrongful death claim are fast approaching (http://bit.ly/18KmU0H). The case, filed by Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, has been ongoing for five months and has induced as much emotional testimony from the witness stand as it has technical and medical evidence.
As the guardian of Michael Jackson’s three children, the senior Jackson represents the interests of the estate of Michael Jackson against AEG Live, the production company behind Michael Jackson’s highly publicized comeback concert tour, This Is It.Mr. Jackson passed away from a drug overdose and cardiac arrest less than a month before the tour was scheduled to begin in 2009.
The basis for Katherine Jackson’s wrongful death case hinges on developing a theory that the defendant, AEG Live, was vicariously liable for the death of Jackson by creating a conflict of interest. The conflict of interest is in hiring Dr. Conrad with instructions to make certain that nothing interfered with the musician’s ability to tour.
The conflict was heightened because of the hefty payments Dr. Conrad received, coupled with the doctor’s own serious financial problems. Dr. Conrad was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his role in the death.
In light of Dr. Conrad’s conviction, how do courts find multiple defendants liable for a wrongful death charge where their trials are handled separately? Multiple parties can be held responsible under a theory of joint and several liability, whereby the actions of one do not absolve or release the bad acts of another.
In Missouri, the joinder of parties (that is, the simultaneous presentation of evidence against two or more defendants who share common facts and defenses) is not necessary for a similar result. In other words, if the Michael Jackson wrongful death claim took place in Missouri, the results thus far would be similar to those in California.
In speaking to an attorney about wrongful death claim, describing the full details of the situation is crucial to discovering if more than one party or person should be included in a claim.