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Jury hears of Jackson's pleas for drug

02 September 2013, 08:59

Los Angeles - A look at key moments the past week in the wrongful death trial in Los Angeles between Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, and concert giant AEG Live LLC, and what is expected at court in the week ahead:

The case:

Jackson's mother wants a jury to determine that the promoter of Jackson's planned comeback concerts didn't properly investigate Dr Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter by a criminal jury for Jackson's June 2009 death.

AEG's attorney says the case is about personal choice, namely Jackson's decision to have Murray serve as his doctor and give him doses of a powerful anaesthetic as a sleep aid.

Millions, possibly billions, of dollars are at stake.

What happened the past week:

>>Dr Christine Quinn, a dental anaesthesiologist, described a meeting with Jackson at a Beverly Hills hotel in which the singer asked her to give him the anaesthetic propofol to help him sleep. The meeting was in 1998 or 1999, a decade before Jackson died of a propofol overdose. Quinn refused the singer's request, but continued to treat him for dental procedures.

>>Dr Petros Levounis, an expert paid by AEG Live, said he believed Jackson was addicted to opioid medications and exhibited signs that he was doctor shopping in the 1990s and 2000s.

>>Cherilyn Lee, a nurse practitioner, told jurors that Jackson requested propofol from her in April 2009. Lee said she warned Jackson that it wasn't safe to use propofol in a home setting, but the singer insisted that doctors told him it was safe and he needed to get sleep to prepare for his "This Is It" shows.

>>Outside the presence of the jury, the judge overseeing the case refused to allow lawyers for Jackson's mother to amend their lawsuit and add a negligence claim based on testimony presented during the trial.

What the jury saw:

>>Lee broke down in tears while testifying, likening Jackson's trust of doctors to her mother, who she said warned about taking too many prescription medications and died three years ago.

>>Charts that accompanied Levounis' testimony that showed comments by Jackson's doctors on their close relationships with the singer and behaviour that he said supported his opinion that the pop star was addicted to opioid medications, had engaged in doctor shopping and was secretive about his medical care.

Quotable moment:

>>"I told him that the sleep you get with anaesthesia is not real sleep...not restful sleep," Quinn said of Jackson.

>>"He kept saying: 'You don't understand. Doctors said it's OK,'" Lee recounted Jackson telling her when she warned him that using propofol in a home setting was dangerous.

What's next:

>>AEG Live will continue to present its case and is expected to present a final flurry of videotaped testimony from Jackson's doctors.

AEG Live's lawyers will on Thursday argue that the case be dismissed.

- AP


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