Lawyers for both sides have accepted a jury of six men and six women in a wrongful death lawsuit that Michael Jackson’s mother has filed against the concert promoter AEG Live, The Associated Press reports.
Attorneys selected the jury faster than expected, culling more than 100 candidates for the panel. Lawyers are are now questioning potential alternate jurors for a trial that is expected to last several months.
Jackson’s mother claims in a lawsuit filed on behalf of herself and her son’s three children that AEG is responsible for the singer’s death in 2009, shortly before he was to begin a run of concerts the company was promoting in London. Their lawyers say damages could reach $40 billion, though jurors would determine what amount, if any, the family could receive.
Some potential jurors in the pool were eliminated when they said the length of the trial would pose a hardship, while others were dismissed because they noted a bias against Jackson, or because they had ties to AEG or the Jackson family. Jury candidates filled out questionnaires asking their views on Jackson and his family, the pop singer’s death and their feelings about multi-million dollar verdicts.
The case is expected to focus on whether the singer played a role in his own death, which resulted from an overdose of a powerful anesthetic administered by Jackson’s doctor, Conard Murray. Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death, was paid $150,000 a month by AEG to tend to Jackson. By coincidence, Murray’s lawyer yesterday filed an appeal of his criminal conviction.