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Michael Jackson doctor incompetent in some areas, expert testifies

May 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An expert cardiologist testified Tuesday that Michael Jackson's doctor was unqualified to treat the pop star for insomnia or drug addiction.

Dr. Daniel Wohlgelernter, testifying for the singer's mother, told a jury he reached that conclusion after reviewing Conrad Murray's credentials. Murray was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Jackson in 2009.

Katherine Jackson is suing concert promoter AEG Live on claims that Murray was negligently hired by the company to care for the singer. AEG denies wrongdoing and says it was Michael Jackson who wanted Murray to work as his doctor while he prepared for a series of comeback shows.

Attorneys for both sides told the panel last week that Michael Jackson suffered from longstanding prescription drug addiction issues.

Wohlgelernter, a Santa Monica-based cardiologist, said Murray had no formal training on how to treat such problems, and the former cardiologist was not qualified to administer propofol, the powerful anesthetic that killed Jackson. The singer was using the drug as a sleep aid.

Wohlgelernter also told the jury that Murray botched resuscitation efforts by improperly focusing on Jackson's heart when the singer stopped breathing. Jackson had received propofol and other drugs on that day in June.

Under cross-examination by an AEG attorney, Wohlgelernter testified that Murray appeared to be a competent internal medicine physician. However, Wohlgelernter said the company should have asked why Jackson and Murray wanted to work with each other.

Murray had been expecting to receive $150,000 a month for his work on Jackson's tour, but the singer died before the contract was finalized.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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