Jacksons vs AEG - Day 80 – September 6 2013 – Summary
No Jackson family members are in court today.
(source : ABC7 unless otherwise indicated)
Dr. William B Van Valin Video Deposition
Dr. William B Van Valin’s video deposition is played for the Jury. He treated MJ in the early 2000′s when MJ lived at Neverland. In 2001, MJ came to the office and wanted a Doctor to make house calls. Dr. Van Valin did. MJ invited the Dr. to Neverland that night. He went with his son, Mason. He describes the interior of Neverland. A friendship started. He remembered one time he got up for work and opened the door to leave and there was MJ on the door step. MJ said he just got there but Dr. Van Valin asked MJ’s driver who said they had been there for 35 minutes. Dr. Van Valin invited him in, got his wife up to entertain MJ and off her would go to work. MJ would play monopoly, eat pizza, play. By the time Dr. Van Valin got home, the house would be a disaster…
(ABC7) Jackson "would just show up" at Van Valin's home every week or so without warning, he said. The doctor would open his door to leave for work in the morning "and he would just be standing there." His driver told him once that Jackson had been waiting at his door for 35 minutes, not wanting to knock because he thought that was Valin's children would stay home from school some days Jackson visited. "I'd come home from work and there's Michael there at the house and they're watching cartoons or, you know, eating pizza," Van Valin said. At first it was a novelty, but after several years it was routine, he said. (CNN)
Dr. Van Valin said he believed MJ was an insomniac. MJ would lay down, Dr. would read him a book and when he thought MJ asleep slip out. Sometimes MJ was not asleep and would say “goodnight Barney” (nickname). Dr. gave MJ 6 zanax tablets. MJ took all 6 and didn’t have reaction. (ABC7) Before Michael Jackson asked a doctor to treat his insomnia with propofol, he tried falling asleep to the physician reading him bedtime stories.(CNN)
MJ did discuss Diprivan (propofol) with Dr. Van Valin. He said he used it between shows on his world tour. Dr. on the tour give to him. That Dr. would give to MJ and monitor him not like the guy who gave it to him and left the room! Putting him to sleep like a dog. MJ said he hadn’t slept for 4 days. Dr. told MJ he didn’t do IV. Dr. talked to anesthesiologist who said only used in a hospital. Dr. said he never heard of propofol. Dr. Van Valin went back and told MJ it was dangerous. MJ had a box of Diprivan in his bedroom. The medication was from Florida but Dr. Van Valin did not know the doctor who gave it to MJ or sent it to him. Dr. describes the box. MJ never asked Dr. Van Valin for Diprivan again. (ABC7) Dr. Barney Van Valin, whose video testimony was shown to jurors Friday, refused Jackson's request for propofol infusions in 2003, but six years later -- in Dr. Van Valin's words -- another physician "put him to sleep like a dog." (CNN)
Another incident that disturbed Van Valin was when Jackson showed him a box of the anesthetic propofol, which he said he used to sleep while on tour. (KABC) AEG Live called on Van Valin to testify that he refused Jackson’s request for propofol during one of their appointments. He said Jackson didn’t seem angry about it. “For a guy used to getting his way, he was pretty complacent about it,” van Valin said. (CBSLA)
"Sometimes, he'd say, 'Barney, do me a favor, see if I can sleep, I'm going to get under the covers on that rollout couch,' and he said, 'Just read me out of a book,'" Van Valin testified. "I'd find a book that looked interesting and I'd just start reading or I'd tell him stories. That didn't work because often times he got excited about the story and say, 'That really happened?' or something. Anyway, I'd read to him -- and when it seemed like he was asleep I'd slip out, you know, kind of hard because the door made a little noise. If I thought he was asleep I'd leave, and once in awhile he'd say, 'Good night, Barney,' and when I got to the door, he wasn't asleep at all." Dr. Van Valin also tried to help Jackson sleep with sedatives, including Xanax, without success, he said. Jackson, however, revealed to him in 2003 that he had a stash of propofol in a closet of his Neverland Ranch bedroom, Van Valin said. "He said, 'Would you put me to sleep, I haven't been able to sleep for four days,' and I said, 'With what?' And he goes, 'Well, I have this stuff,' and I said, 'Mike, I don't do I.V. sedation. You need an anesthesiologist to do that.' And he said, 'Oh, it's safe, man, I used it for all those years between shows and I got put to sleep.' I said, 'I can't imagine that was good sleep." You know, he said, "No, it works really well."
He said Jackson told him that during his world tours him a doctor "would put in the I.V. and put me to sleep, and he'd stay there for eight hours and wake me up 'cause I would go -- if I had three days between shows, I would have three days I didn't sleep and, you know, that I couldn't put on the show I wanted to have, you know, I mean, I want my shows to be, you know, as high end as possible."
"Sounds like a doctor who did his job, not like this other guy, who just started the drip and left the room and basically put him to sleep like a dog," Van Valin said. Jackson was "pretty complacent" when he rejected his request for help with propofol and he never asked for it again, Van Valin said. (CNN)
Dr did continue to treat his back pain. He remembers going to MJ house and gave Demerol that time he noticed a drop of blood on MJ’s shirt and a band aid. He asked MJ if another Dr. was giving him pain meds. MJ said no but Dr. Van Valin knew he was lying. He told MJ that more Demerol could kill him. He told MJ he couldn’t but did anyway. Dr. talked to MJ about developing a tolerance and concern for addiction in 2003. He backed off giving MJ demerol for pain. Dr. continued his concern for MJ demerol use. Several time he would give MJ dose, and MJ would wooooo, sing and dance. Then same dose fine. He was sure MJ had gotten a shot from another Doctor just did not know who. When asked MJ’s house man he said no. Dr. Van Valin used the name Phil Sanders for MJ on his chart. There was a note that he wrote a script in houseman’s name for MJ
Van Valin said he warned the King of Pop that taking too much of the painkiller Demerol would be risking death. The physician said he first began treating the pop star in 2001, often visiting the singer at his Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County and at the doctor’s home. Van Valin said he prescribed Demerol because Jackson complained of pain. But he became suspicious that Jackson was seeing another doctor for Demerol when he noticed the singer showed signs of receiving an injection before visiting Van Valin. “Michael, if you’re doubling up…that could kill you,” Van Valin said he told Jackson. (CBSLA)
Jackson's use of painkillers was medically justified by chronic pain suffered in a 1997 stage accident, Jackson lawyers said. The doctor said Jackson showed the "classic symptoms of lower back pain" and an MRI study confirmed a bulge in a disc in his lower spine consistent with where his pain was.
Dr. Van Valin said he never suspected Jackson was faking his pain to get painkiller shots.
"I looked for that because there are plenty of people that come in and try to scam me, so I'm always looking for that," he testified. (CNN)
It was the collapse of a stage bridge in 1999 that injured Jackson's back, according to Dr. William Van Valin, who treated him for pain two years later. In a video shown in court, Jackson kept singing as if nothing had happened, but that's not what Jackson told Van Valin. In a video deposition, Van Valin testified that Jackson's injury was real. For a year, he made house calls to Neverland Ranch to give the singer injections of the painkiller Demerol in growing amounts. But doubts began to build. Van Valin suspected Jackson was getting Demerol from someone else at the same time. Jackson appeared high. "It was a bit scary. I sat there with him until it went away," said Van Valin. One day, the doctor saw a band aid on Jackson, covering a needle mark. "I said, 'Michael, you have another doctor that gave you a shot. You realize what risk you put yourself and me at by doing that? Who came and gave you a shot?'" said Van Valin. According to Van Valin, Jackson's response was that he didn't get a shot from another doctor. "But it was. He was lying," said Van Valin. (KABC)
While the doctor said "nothing implied" that Jackson was abusing painkillers, there was one incident during house call in 2002 that caused him to suspect Jackson might be getting additional shots of the powerful opioid Demerol from another doctor. He noticed "a little blood spot" on Jackson's T-shirt after he gave him a shot, he said. "I lifted it up and there's a little Band-Aid over it and I said, 'Michael,' I said, 'you have another doctor that gave you a shot.' I said, 'You realize what risk you put yourself and me at by doing that? Who came and gave you a shot?' 'Oh, no, I didn't -- it was not a shot.'" Van Valin said. "But it was. He was lying." "I told him, I said, 'You know what, I can't do this, okay, 'cause if you're doubling up, you know, I give you a shot and then you've already had one,' I said, 'I could kill you,'" Van Valin testified. Van Valin remained close friends with Jackson even though he stopped treating him soon after that incident, he said.(CNN)
Dr. Shannon was another Doctor at Van Valin’s practice. There were notes in MJ’s file from him. Shannon notes MJ dental work and pain. Shannon injects MJ with demerol for the pain but notes that MJ brought his own medication to the office. Scripted by Van Valin. Odd
Dr. Van Valin has another talk with MJ about concern for demerol use on 10/10/01. MJ said he knew the risks. MJ never told Dr. Van Valin about his prescription drug dependence and going into treatment in 1993. Dr. Van Valin didn’t think MJ had a problem because he would get Demerol every few days or even weeks. Most addicts it is every few hours. Eventually he stopped treating MJ. They would just hang out together. No conversation he just stopped asking for treatment.
Note 2/28/2002 MJ told he needed a break from his Demerol because his use was excellerating. He needed more and I couldn't give to him. 10/25/02 MJ called with an infection on his abdomen. He had a device placed under his skin about one week ago to decrease demerol use. Dr. in Florida had inserted a narcan plug that would deaden the affect of a narcotic. It had gotten infected. Dr. Van Valin cleaned out. He described Narcan as a med used in ER's when a patient comes in comatose and the doctors do not know what was used. Wakes right up. Dr. Van Valin knew MJ must have been getting demerol elsewhere because he hadn't given it to him in a while. MJ didn't come back
Asked if MJ was a good father. Dr. said he was a great father. Patience was gentle with kids. Talked about how shy Paris was as a child. She would get in MJ's lap at dinner and MJ let her eat dinner there. Very attached to her Dad. Went to MJ house for dinner with his wife. She spotted the stroller and knew there was a new baby in the house. They went up to nursery and MJ introed the to Blanket. Said that is what they call him now but he wants all his kids to be named MJ. (ABC7) "No, he is an amazing father," he answered. "Because I'm a good father and he was better than me. He respected them and as they respected him and he would correct them gently." (CNN)
Dr. Van Vilan said he thought he an MJ were best friends. He said he never had a better friend and he didn't think MJ did either. He said he really didn't know the Pop Star - he knew MJ the man, the father. He still misses him. (ABC7) "In my opinion, and I think in Michael's too, we were best friends. I didn't have a better friend, and I don't think he did," Van Valin said.(KABC) "We were best friends, you know," Dr. Van Valin testified. "I didn't have a better friend and I don't think he did." (CNN)
He said he treated MJ as he treated all his patients. He also said he did not believe MJ was his friend so he could get demerol. He said it was possible he gave MJ demerol and did not write in chart. From 10/2001 1/2002 he gave MJ Demerol on 6 days - 2 shots one day. He said possible he gave MJ demerol and did not get into chart. 10/00 to 1/01 He gave him a shot 6 days and one day twice. In 2001 6 times according to the chart. 2002 twice. Then, he never gave MJ another demerol shot. Dr. Van Valin never treated MJ again after 10/02. He realized MJ was getting medication elsewhere and he told MJ he couldn't give Demerol
MJ said no sleep was his biggest complaint. MJ told Dr. on tour he had a Dr. who gave him propofol between shows. Wake feeling refreshed.
Dr. Neil Ratner Video Deposition
Next video deposition played is Dr. Neil Ratner and anesthesiologist from New York. He no longer practices medicine...stopped in 2002. Treated MJ from about 1990 to early 2000. MJ told him to call Dr. Hoeffler Bev Hills Plastic Surgeon. He had good experience and wanted same. Ratner said he treated MJ for surgeries.
Asked if he treated for Pain? Don't recall. Sleep? Don't recall. Treat outside US? Don't recall. Said he travelled outside US twice with MJ. Treat him? don't recall. Treat at house? don't recall. Asked if he went on tour with MJ. No. Where did he go with MJ? Germany, South Africa, and Korea. Were you on the tour? No Asked if he knew MJ was on tour? Yes. Did he bring Medical equip? Don't recall. Treat MJ? didn't recall. The only time he was concerned for MJ's health was the fall in Germany. Asked if there were any other Doctors there - at ER. He said he asked for payment to travel with MJ because he had to leave his practice. Asked if he ever treated MJ for pain that was not surgery related? Didn't recall. Or Drug addiction? Not that he specifically recalls. Travelled with MJ once not on tour. They went to South Africa to give a check for charity raised at a concert to Nelson Mandela
Dr. Allan Metzger Video Deposition
Last video is Dr. Allan Metzger who was MJ's primary Doctor from about 1984 to April of 2009. MJ was referred to him by Dr. Klein. Metzger was Rheumotogist and Internist. Klein concerned MJ might have discoid Lupus but with tests he did not. He thought he was MJ's primary but MJ doctor shopped. He would go to other places in the world and have doctors there and not share info.
He also had personal relationship with MJ but Dr. Klein was closer. Called "Arnie" a mother hen with MJ. He said Klein sidewalk consult. Sidewalk consult is when the patient calls doctor who will call another doctor instead of patient told to call right doctor himself!
Primarily Metzger treated MJ for back issues over the years and sleep problems. Saw insomnia first hand when joined MJ on tour. Traveled with MJ to Australia as a pseudo-physician and companion. Were you compensated? I was not.
When he did the curbside consultation, that information never got into MJ chart. Happened a few times a year.
He was a social friend of MJ. Went to Neverland 6 to 8 times. Was invited to MJ wedding to Debbie Rowe and went.
Last time he saw MJ was April 18, 2009 where he prescribed a sleep medication. they talked about cafeine usage, no news shows before sleep
Jury will hear the remainder of the Deposition when they are back in court on Wednesday.