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Opening Statements Begin In Michael Jackson’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Opening statements began Monday in Katherine Jackson’s wrongful death lawsuit against AEG.

Katherine Jackson and her children, Rebbie and Randy, were present when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos issued her final pretrial rulings before opening statements began.

Jackson, 82, claims concert promoter AEG Live is responsible for the death of her son, Michael Jackson, in 2009.

The pop singer’s mother claims the entertainment giant hired and retained Dr. Conrad Murray. Murray was sentenced to four years in jail for the 2011 conviction of involuntary manslaughter for giving Michael Jackson a fatal dose of Propofol while he was preparing for his “This Is It” comeback tour.

“Katherine Jackson’s main argument is that if AEG had taken better care of her son, he wouldn’t be dead,” CBS Legal Analyst Steve Meister said. “AEG is going to say that Michael Jackson and [Dr.] Conrad Murray had a close relationship that of drug seeker and drug provider which was more powerful than AEG could ever do anything about.”

The singer’s three children — Michael Jr., Paris-Michael Katherine and Prince Michael — are also named as plaintiffs.

Some of the stars listed on the witness list include Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Lou Ferrigno and Spike Lee. Both of Jackson’s ex-wives, Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe, are also listed as potential witnesses.

A jury of six men and six women has been selected to decide the case.

The trial is expected to last as long as three months.

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