LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Attorneys for concert promoter AEG Live will now make their case in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Michael Jackson.
AEG lawyers spent their first full day defending against the wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday by trying to convince the jury that Jackson family experts who estimated the singer’s premature death cost his estate about a billion dollars in lost income were grossly exaggerating that number.
Asked if Jackson would have been able to fill stadiums and arenas at 100 percent capacity had he lived long enough to conduct a worldwide tour, AEG Live co-CEO John Meglen testified that the answer was no.
According to Meglen’s testimony, seats behind the stage or with obstructed views cannot be assigned to ticket holders. The only seats that can be sold are those with a view of the artist on stage, a much smaller number than the total number of seats in the venue.
Last week, the jury saw documents prepared by AEG Live that estimated Jackson would earn $132 million for 186 shows, far less than certified public accountant Arthur Erk had estimated when testifying for the Jackson family.
Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, has alleged executives at AEG were negligent when they hired Dr. Conrad Murray to look after the singer during the ‘This Is It’ concert tour. AEG denies any wrongdoing and maintains the doctor was brought on at Jackson’s request.
Murray was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter after giving the singer an overdose of the anesthetic propofol.
AEG lead attorney Marvin Putnam estimates he will need about six weeks to present his case. He said he plans to bring people involved in the tour “who can talk about what they actually saw, what actually occurred here.”
Putnam also said AEG attorneys plan to bring “all of the many, many, many doctors that Mr. Jackson met with” to find out what happened in the private conversations between the singer and his physicians.
Now that Jackson has passed away, and because his medical history has been presented in the trial, Putnam said attorney are now permitted to question physicians about those conversations.
It is unknown if Conrad Murray will be among the doctors called to the stand.