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Michael Jackson family demand $290m from concert promoters

WRONGFUL DEATH TRIAL: Michael Jackson in 1988 (PA)

LATE KING of Pop Michael Jackson’s death in 2009 has resulted in the singer’s family seeking $290m (£181m) in damages from concert promoters AEG.

The financial figure has emerged for the first time following family lawyer Brian Panish making the closing arguments during the 21-week trial over the icon’s wrongful death.

He called on the court to award Jackson’s mother Katherine $35m (£21.8m) and rule that each of the star’s three children to receive $85m (£53.1m).

Jackson died when he overdosed on the surgical anaesthetic propofol – the 50-year-old was scheduled to perform at a series of comeback shows in London.

AEG denies any responsibility over Jackson’s death.

The family accuse the promoters of failing to properly check on the singer’s health and not sufficiently looking into the credentials of Dr Conrad Murray, the ex-cardiologist convicted of Jackson’s involuntary manslaughter in 2011.

In making his case to Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos, Panish played a clip of Jackson’s 1993 hit Gone Too Soon, and said: “That is the best evidence that Michael Jackson would have sold tickets”.

Projected earnings from the series of concerts Jackson was due to give is central to the compensation case – the family is seeking both economic and personal damages.

The lawyer added: “We're not looking for sympathy.

“We're looking for justice. Not partial, but complete justice.”

Concerning who shouldered the blame for Jackson’s death, Panish acknowledged the singer played a part in his own downfall.

“It's about shared responsibility," he said. “Michael probably has some fault.

“I'm not going to deny that Michael used prescription drugs and that people told him it's risky to use propofol.”

But he argued that Jackson would probably still be alive today if AEG had not appointed Murray to look after the singer.

Panish said: “AEG wanted the King of Pop in their arena in London.

“They would do whatever it took to get him on stage.

“They were so excited about how much money they were going to make. They chose to run the risk, to make a huge profit, and they lost and they're responsible.”

AEG lawyers are to make their closing arguments today.

Only a majority of nine of 12 jurors is needed to agree to reach a verdict, while the judge has told the jury that the fortune of the parties involved should not be taken into consideration and that the family’s grief must also not be taken into account.

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