Judge tentatively rules against new trial in Michael Jackson case

Jan. 5, 2014 at 1:23 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles judge has tentatively ruled against a new trial against entertainment giant AEG Live in the death of pop icon Michael Jackson.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos heard arguments in the trial Friday -- nearly three months after a jury decided AEG was not responsible for Jackson's death, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Palazuelos then issued a 44-page tentative ruling, with a final ruling expected later this week.

Jackson died after receiving a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol in 2009 from doctor Conrad Murray, who was hired by AEG. The superstar's mother, Katherine Jackson, filed a civil lawsuit against AEG, alleging the company negligently hired and controlled Murray, causing the death of her son.

At the hearing Friday, lawyers for Katherine Jackson argued that a five-question verdict form jurors had to fill out at the original trial was confusing, citing a juror's declaration filed with the retrial motion.

"I believed that Mrs. Jackson had proven her case against AEG Live. Despite this fact, I had no way of voting in favor of the plaintiffs because of the way the verdict form was worded," the juror said.

Attorney Deborah Chang said the wording of the questions was a "major, major problem" that "cut us off at the knees."

AEG's attorney Jessica Stebbins Bina said there was no need for a new trial, stating it was the Jackson team that included the verdict form and chose the language used on it.

After Palazuelos issues a final verdict, which will likely be this week, parties will have 30 days to file an appeal.

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