Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos ruled in favor of a defense motion to dismiss the suit against AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips and top level executive Paul Gongaware this past Monday (Sept. 9). “This is a huge victory for Phillips and Gongaware,” AEG attorney Marvin Putnam said, according to the NY Daily News.
Although the individual executives are off the hook, the trial against the company continues.
Michael Jackson‘s mother, Katherine Jackson, had filed a negligent-hiring lawsuit against the two men and the company in 2010 following MJ’s 2009 death from a lethal dose of propofol. The doctor who administered the drug, Conrad Murray, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for his death.
AEG’s attorneys have been arguing that it was the King of Pop who hired Murray and have called several witnesses who’ve said that the singer was shopping for doctors and that he sought out drugs to use as a sleeping aid.
Katherine Jackson’s attorneys maintain that it was the company, which was promoting his This Is It concert tour, that was responsible for Murray’s hiring and supervision.
Earlier during the trial it was revealed that Gongaware sent an email stating, “We want to remind [Murray] that it is AEG, not MJ who is paying his salary.”
The jury is expected to go into deliberations by the end of this month.