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Michael Jackson trial: Sports medicine specialist testifies

August 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A sports medicine specialist testified Friday in Michael Jackson's wrongful death trial. He told the court that while AEG Live agreed to advance money to Jackson's physician, Conrad Murray, the concert promoter was not to be blamed for his actions.

Testifying in defense of AEG, internist and sports medicine specialist Dr. Gary Green said the blame for Jackson's death falls squarely on Murray's shoulders. Green listed reasons in rebuttal of a Jackson expert, Dr. Gordon Matheson.

Matheson had compared Jackson to an injured athlete, saying he and his team may want him to return to play before he is healed. Matheson's contention was that it's up to an independent doctor to say no.

The AEG expert says Jackson was not a member of a team, but a private patient who had the right to choose his own doctor. Green highlighted evidence that AEG wanted to hire another doctor in London, where the concerts were to be staged, but Jackson said he wanted Murray.

Green cited privacy laws, saying that Murray was obligated to keep treatments of Jackson confidential.

Green cited Murray's independent contract agreement. A term of his employment was that he provide professional services with the greatest degree of care. In the criminal trial, jurors found that Murray violated the standard of care.

Green cited testimony about a meeting that followed Jackson's absence at rehearsals when he appeared to be sick. Murray, he says, exercised independence and did not allow Jackson to return to the stage until the star had rested.

About the anesthesia that caused Jackson's death, Green pointed to evidence that Murray was ordering propofol and administering it to Jackson in April 2009, weeks before AEG knew anything about Murray.

But what about the email raised repeatedly by Jackson attorneys and now presented to Green? The email was from one AEG exec to another about Jackson's absences and was a directive about Dr. Murray: "We want to remind him that it is AEG, not MJ who is paying him."

Green testified that he had no reason to believe anyone told that to the doctor. Asked if he pursued more information from AEG execs to understand the email, Green said he did not.

Questioned further about alleged AEG pressure on Murray, Green stated that if anything, Murray was pressuring himself by providing Jackson treatments that violated his oath to place the patient first and violating prescribing laws at the same time.


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