Michael Jackson’s mother should pay more than $800,000 in trial costs to a concert promoter that she targeted in a failed negligent hiring lawsuit involving the death of her superstar son, a judge said Monday.
Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos issued the tentative ruling that called on the Jackson family matriarch to pay AEG Live LLC after it won the case.
The five-month trial ended in October with a jury determining that AEG Live did not negligently hire the doctor who was convicted of causing Michael Jackson’s death in 2009 as the pop icon prepared for a comeback tour.
The ruling is expected to be finalized after AEG Live submits an amended list of its costs for items such as court filing fees, court reporters and travel. Attorneys for the company and Katherine Jackson agreed not to argue Palazuelos’ tentative ruling, but it might be appealed.
Katherine Jackson’s attorney Kevin Boyle said a decision on appealing the order would be made after reviewing its final language. The verdict and rulings in the case are currently being appealed.
AEG Live initially sought more than $1.2 million to cover its costs. Katherine Jackson’s lawyers claimed only about a quarter of that amount was justified.
AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam said the court did the right thing “by ordering Katherine Jackson to pay nearly $1 million spent in having to defend a matter that she should have never brought in the first place.”
A motion filed by her lawyers last week stated that the costs would be borne by her and the singer’s three children, all of whom are supported by his estate.
The estate has earned hundreds of millions of dollars since the singer’s death and paid off his debts. It also covers schooling, housing and other costs for his children and mother.
Jackson died in June 2009 after receiving an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which former cardiologist Conrad Murray was giving the superstar as a sleep aid during preparations for his planned “This Is It” shows. Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.