LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A doctor’s testimony was used in court Friday in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson’s family.
Dr. William van Valin II, who wrote a book called “Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson,” said he warned the King of Pop that taking too much of the painkiller Demerol would be risking death.
The physician said he first began treating the pop star in 2001, often visiting the singer at his Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County and at the doctor’s home.
Van Valin said he prescribed Demerol because Jackson complained of pain. But he became suspicious that Jackson was seeing another doctor for Demerol when he noticed the singer showed signs of receiving an injection before visiting Van Valin.
“Michael, if you’re doubling up…that could kill you,” Van Valin said he told Jackson.
His testimony was shown to jurors in the wrongful death lawsuit Katherine Jackson filed in September 2010. The suit alleges AEG Live, the promoter for Jackson’s “This Is It” tour, hired Dr. Conrad Murray to care for the singer and that he failed to supervise Jackson properly.
Attorneys for AEG Live counter that Jackson hired Murray in 2006 as his personal physician and wanted him continue on as his doctor during the tour as an independent contractor.
In 2011, Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years in jail after Jackson died of a drug overdose. The doctor intravenously administered the anesthetic propofol to the singer, who was living in a rented Holmby Hills home while rehearsing for the tour.
AEG Live called on Van Valin to testify that he refused Jackson’s request for propofol during one of their appointments. He said Jackson didn’t seem angry about it.
“For a guy used to getting his way, he was pretty complacent about it,” van Valin said.
In a passage in his book, van Valin wrote that he first met Jackson when the singer came to his home looking for a doctor who would make house calls. Jackson told the physician he found his name in a phone book.
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