Thursday, December 9, 2010

Michael Jackson's Father Refiles Wrongful Death Suit

Joseph Jackson has added a pharmacy to his second suit against Dr. Conrad Murray.
By Gil Kaufman

Michael Jackson
Photo: Dave Benett/ Getty Images

After a judge rejected his first attempt, on Tuesday Joseph Jackson refiled his wrongful death suit against cardiologist Dr. Conrad Murray over the death of late pop star Michael Jackson. This time around, though, the Jackson family patriarch also added a Las Vegas pharmacy to his suit, claiming that it sold the surgical anesthetic propofol to Murray.

According to an Associated Press report, the lawsuit filed in state court seeks unspecified damages against Murray, who has pleaded not guilty in a separate criminal case in which he has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the June 2009 death of the legendary singer. In his new suit, Jackson names Las Vegas' Applied Pharmacy services, which court records show sold Murray propofol during the month before Michael's death at age 50 that was attributed to acute propofol intoxication. The pharmacy is accused in the suit of selling Murray excessive amounts of propofol, a drug typically used in a clinical setting during surgery.

Joe Jackson had initially filed a wrongful death claim against Murray in federal court in June, but a judge refused to hear the case and said it had to be handled in state court. "This has been a long process and the facts of Michael's death have been way too slow in emerging," said Joe Jackson's attorney, Brian Oxman. "There is still much to discover, and we're going to find it out."

Authorities have said that the sale of the propofol to Murray was legal, and a spokesperson for the doctor said the refiling of the suit was not a surprise. "We'd like to remind people that Dr. Murray has not been found guilty of anything, and we believe his innocence will be proven in a court of law," one of Murray's lawyers, Charles Peckham, said in June after the first case was filed.

Joe Jackson's lawsuit claims that Murray was negligent in administering propofol to Jackson — who is alleged to have used the strong anesthetic as a sleep aid to combat chronic insomnia — and that he did not tell paramedics or ER doctors that he had given the singer the drug.

The AP reported that it's possible Joe Jackson's case could be consolidated with a lawsuit filed by Jackson's mother, Katherine, against AEG Live, the concert promotions giant behind the singer's planned "This Is It" comeback tour. In that suit, Katherine Jackson claims that AEG promised to provide medical equipment and hire Murray to be the performer's personal physician as he prepared for his comeback shows in London. AEG has said that Katherine Jackson's suit is without merit.

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