Today’s verdict in the Michael Jackson AEG wrongful death suit was five months in the making. A jury of six men and six women found the entertainment company not liable in the pop icon’s 2009 death, reports Variety.
The Jackson family, led by matriarch Katherine, initially filed the suit against AEG believing the company was guilty of ignoring signs of Jackson’s deteriorating health and hiring Dr. Conrad Murray.
In order to reach a verdict, the jury was tasked with answering 16 questions. The first question, did AEG hire Murray, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2010, they answered yes. The second question targeted whether or not Murray was an unfit doctor, the jurors said no—bringing a close to the case.
AEG Live, the division that would have promoted Jackson’s comeback tour “This Is It,” escaped paying damages that could have easily reached up to $1 billion dollars.
Defense attorneys argued throughout the trial that Jackson was responsible for bringing Murray on board. Furthermore, counsel argued that Jackson’s tie to propofol, the drug that ultimately killed him, started before he began working on his tour.
AEG’s president and CEO Dan Beckerman released a statement saying, “I am pleased that the jury recognized that this lawsuit was without merit, and the entire AEG family looks forward to putting this unfortunate chapter behind us.”