AEG's motion of nonsuit
As Ortega's testimony concluded Jacksons case in chief, AEG has filed a motion for nonsuit - meaning they are claiming Jacksons did not meet burden of proof and case needs to be dismissed. In the alternative (if the whole nonsuit motion is not granted) , AEG is asking for dismissal of individual defendants - Phillips &Gongaware
AEG’s main motion
AEG states Jacksons failed to meet their burden of proof on the negligent hiring claim.
AEG states case law that says in California negligent hiring requires “the contact between plaintiff and employee was generated by the employment relationship” and “if employee met plaintiff as a result of something other than employment, a duty will not be imposed on employer”. AEG states this is the case here and the contact between Michael Jackson and Conrad Murray was not created by the AEG- Murray employment. AEG states it is undisputed that Michael and Murray have met in 2006 and Murray started treating Michael before any relationship between AEG and Murray. AEG also adds that when Michael told AEG he wanted Murray, both Phillips and Gongaware advised Michael to hire a doctor in London but Michael rejected it and continued with Murray. AEG states AEG did not start Michael / Murray relationship and they did not have the power to end it.
AEG continues to state that negligent hiring claim requires Jacksons show that AEG knew or should have known Murray posed a particularrisk to Michael and they hired him nonetheless. AEG states Jacksons failed to show that AEG knew or should have known Murray posed the risk of harming Michael through improper medical care.
AEG states knowledge about Michael’s 93 painkiller addiction and knowledge that Michael appeared ill at times (during 2009) would not put AEG on notice that Murray , a doctor chosen and treated Michael for years ,might kill Michael through an overdose of anesthesia. AEG states even if they discovered what Jacksons state about Murray – debts, judgments, hospital privileges being suspended due to recordkeeping issues- it would not show that Murray would harm Michael through incompetent medical care. AEG states there’s no evidence that Murray harmed a patient before.
AEG states Jacksons failed to demonstrate knowledge and harm. AEG states CA case examples to demonstrate that CA law requires a closer nexus with the knowledge and actual harm. Examples include appeal court rulings of : knowledge an employee used drugs and abused his position to gain sexual favors did not put employer on notice that employee might sexually assault a fellow employee. Another example is knowledge of a priest breaking his celibacy wow and having sex with adult women did not put the church on notice that the priest would molest a minor child. There are other several examples provided.
AEG states there have been never an example that debt makes criminal conduct foreseeable like the Jacksons claim. They state debt does not make a person professionally incompetent. They state there’s no relationship between debt and medical malpractice. AEG also argues that Michael’s thinness or sickness before his death would not put AEG on notice that Murray was harming Michael through improper treatment in his bedroom. AEG states there’s no way from Michael’s symptoms (shivering, obsessive behavior) , AEG could have concluded Murray was administering Michael propofol in his bedroom. AEG states even the people closest to Michael (his children, his chef, his friend of 27 years Karen, Sankey)could not conclude Murray might harm or kill Michael. They state if the people closest to Michael could not conclude this, there’s no way Phillips and Gongaware could come to that conclusion. AEG states there’s no evidence that anyone knew Murray was violating his oath while treating Michael. AEG states Murray and Michael kept propofol a secret from everyone and when the employee (Murray) and the victim (Michael) hide the wrongdoing, the employer (AEG) is not required to uncover it. They cite several cases which says employer cannot be liable about employee’s conduct when no one complained about the conduct.
AEG adds that negligent hiring claim requires it must be something in employee’s (Murray) past that should put the employer (AEG) at notice and victims (Michael) past personal difficulties with drugs cannot be used for required proof of AEG’s knowledge about Murray.
AEG states there has been no evidence to show that AEG knew about Murray’s propofol treatment and even if they did as lay person they weren’t qualified to understand that administration of Propofol at a home setting was improper. AEG cites several cases where corporations weren’t held liable for doctors actions as they cannot evaluate a doctors treatment and control or intrude into a doctor – patient relationship. AEG states it’s the same situation here. AEG states medical boards that grants licenses to doctors have determined Murray to be a fit physician.
AEG also states that Jacksons fail to show that AEG’s conduct was substantial factor in Michael’s death. Law requires AEG’s conduct to be a substantial factor. AEG states Jacksons failed to show that AEG’s alleged hiring of Murray caused Michael’s death. AEG again states that Michael knew Murray since 2006 and Murray had treated Michael since as early as 2006. Jackson lawyers themselves have said that a security guard of Michael introduced him to Murray – not AEG. AEG states Jacksons own evidence shows that AEG got nothing to do with Murray and Michael coming in contact.
AEG adds that there’s evidence that shows Murray was ordering propofol before AEG even heard of states Jacksons argued AEG created a conflict of interest between Murray and Michael and that caused Murray to administer propofol but AEG states Jacksons expert testified that Murray ordered propofol before any alleged conflict. Furthermore both Phillips and Gongaware tried to convince Michael to hire a doctor at London and not bring Murray but Michael refused. AEG states Phillips and Gongaware was powerless to separate Michael from his long time doctor Murray. AEG states there’s no relationship between Michael choosing and retaining Murray and anything AEG did. AEG explains that as Michael went to Murray as a doctor without AEG’s involvement (as back as 2006) , as Michael choose to retain Murray against recommendations by AEG, it is only logical to conclude that AEG did not cause Michael to submit to treatment by Murray which caused his death. AEG says this shows nothing AEG did caused harm to Michael and they did not have the power to prevent it.
In the alternative – if the judge does not grant the above main motion and dismiss the whole case due to not meeting the burden of proof- AEG is asking the judge to remove / dismiss Phillips and Gongaware as defendants.
AEG states the negligent hiring claim puts the liability of the employer and not the employees of the employer. AEG states neither Phillips nor Gongaware employed Murray personally. AEG states even if the judge thinks there’s enough evidence to suggest AEG Live might have hired Murray, there’s nothing to suggest negligent hiring by Phillips and Gongaware as individuals.