LOS ANGELES (CN) – Michael Jackson’s mother blames the Anschutz Entertainment Group for her son’s death, claiming it “instructed” him to “stop seeing and taking medications from his current doctor” and rely on Dr. Conrad Murray, whom AEG hired for $150,000 a month, to be sure that Jackson could “attend rehearsals and perform.” Katharine Jackson claims Murray accepted AEG’s terms on May 8, 2009, and 4 days later “made his first order … of the drug Propofol (Diprivan) for Michael Jackson,” which is believed to have killed the entertainer 6 weeks later at his home.
On her own behalf and that of the late entertainer’s three children, Katherine Jackson also sued the Anschutz entity AEG Live, which owns and operates entertainment venues and sports teams; AEG Live CEO Brandon “Randy” Phillips; Kenneth Ortega, director of the King of Pop’s planned “This is It Tour;” AEG Live Co-CEO Paul Gongaware; and Anschutz Entertainment Group CEO Timothy Leiweke.
Katherine Jackson claims that when her son died he “was under the immediate care of a doctor selected by, hired by, and controlled by AEG; indeed AEG demanded and required that Michael Jackson be treated by this particular doctor to ensure that Michael Jackson would attend all rehearsals and shows on the tour. AEG had an employment contract with this doctor that, among other benefits, paid him $150,000 per month with his sole and exclusive job being to make sure Michael Jackson got to rehearsals and shows.”
Katherine Jackson claims “in early May 2009, AEG complained to Michael Jackson that he was missing rehearsals and states it was because of a negative health condition related to prescription medications. AEG instructed Michael Jackson to stop seeing and taking medications from his current doctor and to instead start seeing a doctor that AEG would provide.
“Around the same time in early ay 2009, AEG retained Dr. Conrad Murray (‘Murray’) to be Jackson’s personal ‘concierge’ physician and to exclusively treat Jackson. …
“AEG promised it would pay for and provide all of Murray’s medical equipment, supplies, personnel, and treatments administered to Jackson. AEG and Murray agreed Murray would start immediately, Murray did begin immediately. …
“On May 15, 2009, Murray advised AEG in writing that he had started his services to Jackson on AEG’s behalf. On May 22, 2009, Murray sent an email to AEG with his bank account information, and requested AEG deposit his May 2009 salary payment of $150,000.”
In those weeks, Jackson claims, Murray administered “various controlled substances and other medications” to her son, “including Valium, Ativan, Versed, and Propofol.”
The singer’s mom claims that on June 18, “AEG’s agents, including Randy Phillips,” went to Michael Jackson’s Beverly Hills home, and that “AEG demanded Michael Jackson stop seeing Dr. Arnold Klein and stop taking the drugs Klein gave him. AEG said Klein’s drugs made him sleepy and prevented him from rehearsing. AEG demanded Michael Jackson take only the medications given to him by Murray.”
She claims that AEG threatened that if Michael missed any more rehearsals, “they were going to ‘pull the plug’ on the show,” and that Jackson would owe for “all the expenses for which they paid,” including his advances. “AEG said that if they called off the tour, there would be lawsuits and Jackson’s career would be over. They said Jackson must work with Murray.”
A week later, Jackson was dead.
“The Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy of Michael Jackson on June 26, 2009, and reached conclusions on September 18, 2009,” his mom says. “The report concluded Michael Jackson died from acute Propofol intoxication contributed to by the ‘Benzodiazepine Effect.’ Michael Jackson had a ‘polypharmacy’ of drugs in his system. There were lethal levels of Propofol (Diprivan) in Michael Jackson’s body.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
Jackson’s mom seeks punitive damages for breach of contract and breach of duties of care, fraud and constructive fraud, and respondeat superior for Murray’s negligence. She is represented in Superior Court by Brian Panish with Panish, Shea & Boyle.