A jury has convicted Dr. Conrad Murray of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's California death. The guilty verdict means that the jury members unanimously believe that Murray committed a crime that placed Jackson at high risk of severe bodily injury or death.
While Murray is now facing up to four years in prison, there is a good chance that he could end up serving his time while under house arrest due to prisons being too crowded and existing budget constraints. Murray's legal problems are not finished yet, however. Jackson's dad Joseph Jackson is suing the doctor for his son's Los Angeles wrongful death.
The pop star died on June 25, 2009 in Los Angeles. He was 50.
Prosecutors had accused Murray of gross negligence in giving Jackson propofol to help him sleep. They also said he was negligent for not monitoring him, giving him the medication in a home environment (this anesthetic normally used during surgery), waiting too long to call emergency services, and not telling medical workers that Jackson had taken the powerful drug.
While Murray admitted administering a small dose of propofol to help Jackson sleep, he pleaded not guilty to giving Jackson the deadly amount that killed him. Instead, Murray's defense lawyers argued that the singer was the one who gave himself that last dose, in addition to a bunch of sedatives.
Following the conviction, which was announced yesterday, Murray was placed on suicide watch.
As our Anaheim personal injury law firm mentioned earlier in this blog post, Murray still has other legal challenges ahead. Joe Jackson is also seeking Los Angeles medical malpractice damages from the doctor. Noting that Joe is not a beneficiary to the singer's estate, Murray's legal team has sought to have the Los Angeles wrongful death lawsuit dismissed.
The doctor, however, is not named in the Los Angeles wrongful death case filed by Jackson's Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Prince Michael Jackson II, and Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson, and his mother Katherine Jackson, who are his beneficiaries. They are suing AEG Live, the concert promoter that Jackson was working with to get ready for his comeback concerts in London.
They contend that the defendant should have protected the music icon, rather than making profits the priority. Katherine Jackson says that the promoter pressured her son with a hectic rehearsal schedule, even threatening to cancel the tour if he called in sick again.
Los Angeles Wrongful Death
Surviving family members may be able to obtain California wrongful death damages from those whose negligence contributed to the decedent's passing. Defendants don't need to have been the direct cause of the death in order to be held liable.
Michael Jackson's doctor guilty of manslaughter, Reuters, November 7, 2011
Katherine Jackson Sues AEG Over Michael's Death, TMZ, September 15, 2010
Joe Jackson Refiles Wrongful Death Lawsuit, NBC Los Angeles, November 30, 2010
Seal Beach Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Former In-Laws of Alleged Salon Shooter, California Injury Lawyers, November 4, 2011
Michael Jackson's Mother Files Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against AEG Live, California Injury Lawyers, September 16, 2010
Michael Jackson's Father Files Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawsuit, California Injury Lawyers, June 25, 2010