Los Angeles – The doctor convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson welcomed on Thursday a jury’s decision absolving concert promoter AEG Live of the pop star’s death.
Speaking from jail to NBC’s Today Show, Dr Conrad Murray said that the lawsuit brought by Jackson’s family against the company was “frivolous’’ and that he cried when he heard it had been dismissed.
“I cried because for once the world was allowed to hear some of the facts … much of which I was denied and my attorneys could not present during my criminal trial’’, said Murray.
Murray is due to be released later this month after serving a two-year sentence for his role in Jackson’s death.
He was convicted in 2011 of violating medical procedures by giving the insomniac Jackson the hospital anesthetic Propofol as a sleeping aid.
The drug was found to have caused the heart attack that killed Jackson in June 2009 as he was about to embark on a sold-out comeback tour.
Jackson’s family sued AEG Live for the death, claiming that it bore ultimate responsibility.
The lawsuit claimed that the company was negligent in hiring Jackson’s doctor who was incompetent to provide him with medical care.
It said this was because of the physician’s precarious financial position which meant he would bend medical rules to ensure the tour would go ahead.
But after a five-month trial and four days of jury deliberations, the panel of six men and women found that although AEG had hired Murray, it had not been negligent in employing the doctor, who had been treating Jackson and his children beforehand.
The jury’s unanimous decision brought to an end a trial that depicted the fragility of the former King of Pop and his reliance on a dangerous, and ultimately fatal, drug cocktail to function in his everyday life.
AEG Live denied any wrongdoing, insisting that Jackson was responsible for his own medical choices.
“The jury’s decision completely vindicates AEG Live, confirming what we have known from the start – that although Michael Jackson’s death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making,” attorney Marvin Putnam said in a written statement to CNN.
Had the company been found liable, it could have been on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for Jackson’s lost income. (dpa/NAN)