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Michael Jackson wrongful-death trial date set

April 24, 2013 at 3:01 PM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, April 24 (UPI) -- Opening statements were being prepared for the Michael Jackson wrongful-death trial in Los Angeles that pits the star's mother against his concert promoters.

Both sides' opening statements are to begin Monday, with testimony to follow, now that six alternate jurors were selected to back up the 12 jurors chosen Monday, Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelo said.

Alternates hear the trial but do not take part in deciding the verdict unless a juror is unable to deliberate.

The main jury panel includes six men and six women, and the alternates are four men and two women.

Jackson's 82-year-old mother, Katherine -- who is also the legal guardian of Jackson's children Prince, Paris and Blanket -- is suing Anschutz Entertainment Group Live for the pop singer's wrongful death.

AEG Live promoted and sponsored a planned series of 50 Jackson "This Is It" comeback concerts that were scheduled to be held at London's O2 Arena from July 2009 through March 2010.

Jackson died June 25, 2009, at age 50, less than three weeks before the first scheduled concert July 13.

The lawsuit alleges AEG Live was negligent in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray to care for the singer while he rehearsed for the concerts.

Murray, Jackson's personal physician, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in November 2011 for giving the singer a lethal dose of the surgical anesthetic propofol to help him overcome insomnia.

Murray is serving a four-year prison sentence.

AEG Live lawyers argue Jackson chose and controlled Murray and was addicted to prescription drugs long before he agreed to do the concerts.

Katherine Jackson, who filed the wrongful-death lawsuit after Murray's conviction, seeks damages of equivalent to the amount of money Jackson would have earned over the course of his remaining lifetime if he had not died in 2009, estimated at $40 billion.

The trial, which could last four months, is expected to include testimony from Prince and Paris Jackson, the singer's two oldest children, and a number of celebrity witnesses, CNN said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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