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Jury Selection Begins In Katherine Jackson’s Wrongful Death Suit Against AEG Live

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Jury selection began Tuesday in the lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson’s mother against concert promoter AEG Live.

Katherine Jackson says the company was negligent when it hired Dr. Conrad Murray to oversee her son’s medical care. The 82-year-old also named Jackson’s three children as plaintiffs in the case.

Katherine and her three grandchildren have sued AEG for $40 billion in damages, KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports.

AEG Live was promoting a series of comeback concerts for the King of Pop.

He died in 2009, after Murray administered the powerful anesthetic propofol.

Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death and was sentenced in November 2011 to four years in the Los Angeles County men’s jail.

Attorneys for the Jacksons maintain that AEG Live, in allegedly hiring Murray, gave little consideration to red flags showing that the doctor was in debt and was not a board-certified cardiologist.

AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam maintained his client never hired Murray and that the cardiologist had been one of many doctors who had treated the singer in the past.  Putnam also said Jackson had a drug problem for years before he entered into any agreements to perform on behalf of AEG Live.

Putnam maintained that a proposed contract between Murray and AEG Live was never executed before Jackson’s death.

However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos found that various actions taken by AEG Live, including discussions to pay Murray $150,000 a month, could suggest there was a possible contract or agreement with the doctor.

Two of Michael Jackson’s children may be called to testify during the trial.

The civil trial will take an estimated 30-90 days.

Lawyers are determining which jurors will be able to participate in the trial for that length of time. They’ll then have the candidates take a 24-page questionnaire to identify any potential bias before deciding on the final 12 jurors.

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(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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