Michael Jackson's mum demands payout for wrongful death
Pop star's mother is suing promoter AEG Live for billions of dollars over her son's death
Michael Jackson's mother is seeking billions of dollars from tour promoter AEG Live over her son's 2009 death, in a trial that will finally get under way in Los Angeles this month.
Jury selection begins today for the wrongful death trial, in which Katherine Jackson accuses Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) of negligently hiring doctor Conrad Murray to look after her son as he prepared for a series of London shows.
Murray, jailed after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for giving the singer an overdose of the drug propofol, could be called to testify, although he may refuse to do so, lawyers have suggested.
The 82-year-old Jackson matriarch herself, as well as the late pop star's two elder children, will also give evidence in the trial that comes nearly four years after his death, and could last more than two months.
The trial could also broach child molestation allegations against Jackson, after the trial judge allowed such evidence even though the singer was acquitted of charges in 2005.
Jackson died at his Los Angeles mansion on June 25, 2009 aged 50, from an overdose of the powerful sedative propofol, administered by Murray to help him deal with chronic insomnia.
At the time of his death, he was rehearsing for a series of 50 shows in London, organised with AEG in what was seen as an attempt to revive his career, and also to ease his financial woes.
Jackson's mother claims that subsidiary AEG Live pushed her son too hard to prepare for the London shows.
But AEG claims that Jackson had a history of drug abuse long before the singer met Murray, who was hired to care for him before and during the shows at London's O2 Arena.
Lawyers have notably argued over what should and should not be admitted in evidence.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos granted an AEG demand for testimony about the child molestation charges to be heard, claiming it could explain the star's stress and medical woes.