As trial in the death of Michael Jackson gets ready to begin, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is trying to delay the release of certain records regarding his death that also relate to a civil litigation regarding insurance.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office wants a judge to delay the release of fire department and coroner’s office records to lawyers handling civil litigation for the insurers of Michael Jackson’s attempted comeback concerts until after the criminal trial of Dr. Conrad Murray.
Lloyd’s of London filed suit against AEG Live and the Michael Jackson Co. LLC in Los Angeles Superior Court on June 6. Lloyd’s wants a judge to declare it does not have to pay AEG’s $17.5 million policy on grounds the insurers were not told the singer was taking drugs before he died June 25, 2009, at age 50.
The District Attorney’s Office is not a party to the suit but filed a friend-of-the-court brief Wednesday asking that no records from the Los Angeles city and county fire departments or the coroner regarding Jackson’s death be released to attorneys for Lloyd’s until Murray’s trial is completed.
The singer allegedly received a dose of a powerful sedative from Murray, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly not monitoring Jackson after administering the drug to help him sleep.
“The [prosecution’s] pending criminal case against Conrad Murray regarding the death of Michael Jackson has received significant, unrelenting media attention,” the district attorney’s court papers state.
“Because of the heightened media interest surrounding this case, it is more likely that a leak to the media or a similar compromise in the confidentiality of these documents would occur.”
Documents and photos related to Jackson’s death “have significant value to the media,” the court papers state.
Releasing the records early, along with potential leaks of information, also could have a negative impact on the ability to pick a fair and impartial jury, according to the papers. Jury selection in Murray’s trial is scheduled to begin next Thursday.
Some of the information sought by Lloyd’s attorneys may never be used in the criminal case because of objections by Murray’s lawyers, according to the District Attorney’s Office, which notes that only two Jackson autopsy photos have been ruled admissible.
Lloyd’s lawsuit against AEG claims the company did not tell the insurer about the singer’s medical history, “including, but not limited to, his apparent prescription drug use and/or drug addiction.”
The company also alleges AEG did not disclose the star’s use of propofol, which has been blamed for his death.