3 Dec 2011
Insurers to see Jackson medical records
Lawyers for the King of Pop's estate will get access to the records from medical providers and can show them to lawyers from Lloyd's of London, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey ruled.
Lloyd's, which is resisting paying out on a policy worth about £11.2 million because it did not know that Jackson was taking drugs before his death more than two years ago at the age of 50, filed suit against tour promoter AEG in June.
Attorneys for the Jackson estate and for Lloyd's will both decide which of the medical records are relevant to the case and ask Mackey to mediate in any dispute.
The legal move came days after Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray was jailed for the maximum four years following his conviction for involuntary manslaughter. He is expected to serve less than half the sentence due to California laws linked to overcrowding and budget concerns.
A six-week trial heard evidence from a number of witnesses about the various drugs Jackson was allegedly taking at least in the months before he died, including the anesthetic propofol.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of propofol and other sedatives, administered by Murray in an attempt to help the star sleep while in Los Angeles, where he was rehearsing for his "This is It" comeback tour.
The trial also heard claims that Jackson, battling to resurrect his career from child molestation charges that left him with huge financial debts, stood to make close to £64 million from the 50 planned concerts.
Lloyd's wants Mackey to rule that it does not have to pay out on the AEG insurance policy because it was not told about Jackson's drug problems when the contract was signed.
Lloyd's attorney Paul Schreiffer said Jackson waived any privacy rights he might have asserted before he died by signing an agreement for his medical records to be produced for the company.
Schrieffer said the ruling should help move the case forward, adding that Lloyd's has sought the medical information for more than two years.
Lloyd's issued subpoenas for the records on July 12, including two directed at Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr Arnold Klein and Dr Allan Metzger, who accompanied Jackson on a tour in the 1990s.
The Lloyd's lawsuit against AEG claims the promoter 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.
"There is evidence to suggest that Michael Jackson had a history of narcotic use, including but not limited to Demerol and propofol, the use of which may have resulted in his death, the Lloyd's court papers say.
"Dr Klein was a (dermatologist) for Michael Jackson who administered Demerol to Jackson reportedly on a regular basis."
The trial heard how Jackson would emerge from Dr Klein's office drowsy and slurring his speech. In a chilling audio recording played in court the star was barely comprehensible, talking about his hopes for the London shows.
Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.