Jury: Concert Promoter Not Negligent In Jackson Death

AP Jackson-AEG -What-ifs

Kevin Boyle, attorney for Katherine Jackson, said they would consider a next step. “We, of course, are not happy with the result as it stands now,” Boyle said. “We will be exploring all options legally and factually and make a decision about anything at a later time.” Jackson’s lawyers depicted the company as being more concerned with the profits a successful concert run could generate than the singer’s well-being. Brian Panish, lawyer for Jackson’s mother, urged the jury to find that defendant AEG Live LLC and Jackson shared responsibility for hiring Murray, who is serving a prison sentence. AEG Live contends it was pressured by Jackson to hire Murray as his personal physician. Attorneys for the promoter argued that Jackson and Murray deceived the promoter by concealing that Jackson, who complained of chronic insomnia, was receiving the anesthetic propofol nightly in his home as a sleep aid. Panish urged the jury to find that AEG hired Murray without considering whether he was fit for the job. “Propofol might not be the best idea,” Panish said. “But if you have a competent doctor, you’re not going to die.” Panish contended that AEG executives including CEO Randy Phillips and co-CEO Paul Gongaware disdained Jackson and pointed to an e-mail in which an AEG attorney referred to Jackson as “the freak.” “They’re a money-making machine,” Panish said. “All they care about is how much money is this freak going to make for them.” Both executives were initially named as defendants but were dismissed from the case during the trial. Panish showed jurors details of a contract that was drafted by AEG Live but only signed by Murray. He said it proved that AEG wanted to control the doctor. AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam told jurors that Jackson insisted on hiring Murray despite objections from AEG Live. The company told Jackson there were great doctors in London, where his concerts would be held, but the singer insisted, Putnam said. “It was his money and he certainly wasn’t going to take no for an answer,” he said.

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Word of the concert spread throughout the day after being announced in late morning. “I just think this is awesome, this is the kind of thing they do in Philly,” said Sandra Ackler of Center City, who heard of the concert on the radio and brought along a South Philadelphia friend who had never been to Verizon Hall. It was, she said, slightly reminiscent of another orchestra gift to its listeners that she wished she had attended – an evening in 1994 when members of the orchestra were snowed in, and the public was invited in to hear music director Wolfgang Sawallisch take a spin through knotty Wagner scores alone, accompanying singers from the keyboard. Carnegie Hall stagehands struck Wednesday morning over a jurisdiction issue, not only depriving New Yorkers of a chance to hear the orchestra in Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and Saint-Saens, but also keeping the ensemble from impressing gala cochairs such as philanthropists Mercedes T. Bass and Marie-Josee and Henry Kravis. Violinist Joshua Bell and double-bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding were to have been guest soloists. After 13 months of talks, and “after no significant progress, we found it absolutely necessary to take action to protect the members that we represent,” said James J. Claffey Jr., president of Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, in a statement. In statements regarding the labor dispute, both the union and Carnegie Hall management cited differences over union work in the hall’s newly created education wing. “We are disappointed that, despite the fact that the stagehands have one of the most lucrative contracts in the industry, they are now seeking to expand their jurisdiction beyond the concert hall and into the new Education Wing in ways that would compromise Carnegie Hall’s education mission,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie’s executive and artistic director. New York’s loss was Philadelphia’s gain. The orchestra organized a conducting competition in the lobby before the concert, with would-be podium-hoppers lining up to lead a string ensemble in an excerpt from Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik. A near-toddler tried out, his hands guided by orchestra associate conductor Cristian Macelaru. For this half-hour, the orchestra’s podium saw more diversity than in its entire history: women, African American men and women, Asians, the very young.

Struck in N.Y., Phila. Orchestra pulls off a concert anyhow

23. Celebrity Photos: September 2013 Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, Claire Danes, celebrated in the Emmy Awards Press Room held at The Nokia Theatre L.A, Live in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 22. Celebrity Photos: September 2013 Derek Hough, who won an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography, jumped for joy in the Emmys press room at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 22. Celebrity Photos: September 2013 New mom Anna Chlumsky wowed on the red carpet at the 2013 Emmy Awards on Sept. 22 in Los Angeles, Calif. Celebrity Photos: September 2013 Matt Damon and his wife Luciana were the picture of love on the red carpet at the 2013 Emmy Awards on Sept. 22 in Los Angeles, Calif. Celebrity Photos: September 2013 Kevin Jonas celebrated his wife Danielles birthday at the Sugar Factory American Brasserie in New York City on Sept. 21. Celebrity Photos: September 2013 Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson were seen locking arms during an early evening stroll through the East Village of New York on Sept.