By City News Service
Attorneys for Katherine Jackson say in newly filed court papers that flaws in jury instructions and in the verdict form make the case that she deserves a new trial of the lawsuit she filed against the promoters of her pop superstar son's planned comeback tour.
After nearly 14 hours of deliberations over four days, the six-man, six- woman jury determined Oct. 2 that AEG Live did hire Dr. Conrad Murray as Jackson's doctor, but it answered "no" to question No. 2, which asked if Murray was "unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired."
With that answer, the jury denied any damages to Katherine Jackson and the late Michael Jackson's three children.
In documents filed Thursday, the Jackson lawyers say that once the jurors found Dr. Conrad Murray was competent at the time he was hired, the panel could not go any further and examine his subsequent conduct.
"As given, these instructions and the verdict form were misleading and erroneous in that they did not distinguish between a negligent hiring claim and a negligent retention or supervision claim (what the employer knew or should have known during the course of the relationship.)"
By forcing the jury to stop deliberating after they concluded Murray's capabilities were up to bar when he was hired, the form never allowed the jurors to consider AEG Live's separate ongoing duties relating to supervision and retention, the Jackson attorneys' court papers state.
A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Jan. 3.
Katherine Jackson, the 83-year-old family matriarch, sued in September 2010 on behalf of herself and her son's three children -- Michael Jr., Paris- Michael Katherine and Prince Michael -- claiming that AEG Live hired Murray to be Jackson's personal physician and failed to properly supervise him.
Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for Jackson's death, has since been released from jail. Jackson died June 25, 2009, at age 50 of acute propofol intoxication.